If you run a business in the Netherlands and you have not enough work for your staff due to exceptional circumstances you can apply for a short-time working (werktijdverkorting, WTV) permit. This permit enables you to apply for temporary unemployment benefit for your employees. The workers concerned will still be employed by your company.
When do you qualify?
You can apply for a WTV permit if you meet the conditions:
- The reduction in the volume of work is due to exceptional circumstances, such as fire or a lightning strike
- You expect to have at least 20% less work for your staff for at least 2 but no more than 24 weeks
- You have a continued payment of wages obligation (loondoorbetalingsverplichting) towards the employees you apply for
You cannot apply for employees with a zero-hours contract, or for agency workers. Also, if you are a self-employed professional (zzp'er), you cannot make use of the WTV. You may be eligible for financial support for self-employed professionals (Bbz).
Short-time working due to the war in Ukraine
If your company is affected by the war in Ukraine, you can apply for a WTV permit for your employees if you meet the conditions. Also for these employees you must expect temporarily less work and towards these employees you have a continued payment of wages obligation.
You are not entitled to a benefit under the WTV if you suffer from:
- reduction in work as a result of Dutch or European sanctions against Russia
- reduction in work due to price increases that are (partly) the result of the war in Ukraine
- reduction in work due to the loss of 1 supplier or customer in Ukraine (unless you have already taken this into account in your business operations and you can demonstrate that no alternative is or was possible in this specific situation)
How to apply for unemployment benefit during short-time working?
You apply online for a short-time working permit (in Dutch) to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Work.
If you are granted the permit, you notify the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV) of your short-time working permit (in Dutch) within two days. Next, you apply to UWV for the unemployment benefit (in Dutch) for the hours not worked.