Amsterdam, 29-01-2021 - The CEO of Tribes, a provider of inspirational offices and flex-working spaces, has written an open letter to various ministries and members of parliament asking them to revise the NOW guidance so that the company also qualifies for the support package. He is sounding the alarm bell to prevent many jobs in the Netherlands from being needlessly put at risk.
The letter is addressed to minister Wiebes, Keizer and Ongering of Economic Affairs & Climate, minister Koolmees, Van 't Wout and Mulder of Social Affairs & Employment, minister Hoekstra of Finance, and all members of the Lower House of the Economic Affairs & Climate and Social Affairs & Employment Committees. Tribes CEO Eduard Schaepman appeals to the ministers and committees to review the conditions and restrictions of the support package.
Consolidate at highest level
More than 100,000 jobs in the Netherlands are at risk because the NOW legislation does not correctly provide for the conditions of the subsidy in relation to the Group and parent-subsidiary relationship,' the letter begins. With this Schaepman refers to the fact that for the NOW under concern is also seen as a parent-subsidiary relationship by the NBA. This means that Tribes' turnover is not assessed as a stand-alone entity, but is consolidated at the highest level. In order to achieve this, a company will have to incur high accounting costs that may turn out to be higher than the subsidy would be paid out, especially when it concerns a foreign parent company - as in the case of Tribes. The consequence is that it is practically unfeasible to demonstrate a decrease in turnover of at least 20%, and many companies do not qualify for the subsidy. This affects not only the employers, but also the employees.
Jobs at risk
The consequence of all the conditions and restrictions on the subsidyis that many companies in a parent-subsidiary relationship will have to lay off employees in order to survive. These employees will then turn to the UWV and receive social benefits. The support that is denied to the companies by assessing them at the very highest level will then be paid out social benefits by the UWV. This also has consequences for Tribes: 'as a provider of flexible office space and meeting rooms, we have suffered a major hit. The turnover of meeting rooms collapsed and we hardly received any applications for new offices. We have already taken steps, such as closing two offices and not extending temporary contracts, but we want to avoid unnecessary job losses,' says Schaepman.
Schaepman believes that the communication concerning the NOW schemes is misleading. You cannot open a newspaper or follow a news broadcast without reading or hearing 'if you have a 20% or more drop in turnover, we will help you.’ But once you want to submit the application, you read how many conditions and restrictions there are. As a result, a lot of companies still fall by the wayside'. He therefore hopes that his letter and his appeal can bring about a revision of the conditions, so that Tribes can still claim the support packages.