Last week I had a vacation and I was away for a good week. Still carefree I packed my bags and left for France to catch my breath. Who could have predicted that when returning to the Netherlands, life and work would look very different? Well I don’t! In the meantime we have come back that Corona is an innocent virus. Drastic measures have been taken by the government to prevent the rapid spread of the virus. By means of “flatten the curve” we are now trying with all our might to prevent a peak in contamination that is so great that our good health care cannot handle it.
All these measures have a significant impact on our working lives. As an HR manager I would like to share my tips & tricks to get through the coming period as an employer or contractor in a pleasant and hopefully healthy way.
What has already been arranged for the working Netherlands?
Entrepreneurs severely affected by the impact of the coronavirus could previously apply for shorter working hours under certain circumstances. This is no longer possible from now on! This has been replaced by the NOW scheme (Emergency Measure Bridging for Retention of Work). Under the new scheme, employers can apply for a “substantial contribution towards labor costs”.
At the time of writing, it is not yet known exactly how to claim this scheme and what effect NOW will have. It is estimated that in a week or two more will be known about these and other schemes. As soon as we know more, we will supplement this blog if necessary.
This scheme does not apply to self-employed persons. You can, however, apply for an income supplement or loan from the municipality in which you live on the basis of the Self-employed Persons Assistance Decree (Bbz). In addition, it is possible to request a deferral of payment from the tax authorities. This may include: corporate income tax, income tax, turnover tax and wage tax.
It’s not a contest!
Now is not the time to outdo others at all costs. It is not a competition “who dares to come to the office the longest”. Now it’s all about teamwork. In order to survive together as a company, entrepreneurs, employers, employees and everyone else to come out of this economically stronger and more cohesive.
Working from home
Those who can work at home, work at home, that is the compelling advice from the government. So: make an inventory of who can work at home and who cannot. View together what needs to be arranged to allow as many employees as possible to work from home. If there are employees who can only work in the office (or other workplace), take protective measures. Also discuss who can work fewer hours than usual because of children sitting at home, help to neighbors, etc. Maybe they can outsource work to colleagues who are not involved in this?
Keep in touch in a fun way
Keep in touch with your employees / colleagues, find out what they are experiencing and how they feel. All this not only has an impact on available working time, but also on the mental state of many. This is the perfect time to profile yourself positively as an employer and to show that you think along with your employees and support them where possible. The same applies to employees, indicate in which areas you can use help. Don’t be big! This is a crazy and difficult time for everyone. Also try to keep in touch with colleagues in a fun way. Start a (practical ;-)) group app or organize a Friday afternoon drink, for example via Skype or MS Office Teams. This way you keep the work ethic high together.
Social actions through social media
Distress breaks the law or in this case makes creative. In recent days, especially on social media, everything has been set up for and by entrepreneurs to support each other. Think of buying and selling gift/credit cards from (small) entrepreneurs to ensure the necessary cash flow. It may seem like little things, but such actions can certainly make a positive contribution. But the same applies here: use your common sense. Initiatives where children can be cared for in empty restaurants are very noble, but ignore the call for “social distancing.”
If you have any questions about your company and personnel at the time of the coronavirus, please do not hesitate to contact us at: email address. Or if you are already a customer through your personal relationship manager/contact person. To conclude with our Prime Minister’s words: “Watch each other a little!”