Fine for mass dismissal in new coronavirus aid package: report

Update 12:20 p.m. - The government confirmed these measures in a statement released just before noon

In the second aid package to help companies through the coronavirus crisis, companies can be fined it they fire more than 20 employees and have no agreement in place with the trade unions. Companies that do this will have to pay a fine of 5 percent of the total amount of wage costs it received from the government, sources in The Hague told NOS.

In the first aid package, companies who received financial support from the government faced fines if they fired any of their employees. The government wanted to completely scrap this requirement, arguing that if a company being forced to retain unnecessary staff goes bankrupt, many more people would be unemployed. But after fierce criticism from opposition parties and trade unions warning of mass layoffs, the government decided to add this 'anti-abuse provision' as a compromise.

The entire support package will also be extended for longer, by four months instead of three months. This means the package is in place until October 1. The amount of fixed costs that an employer can claim will also increase from a maximum of 20 thousand euros to a maximum of 50 thousand euros. Exactly how much a company gets depends on their situation and how much turnover they lost due to the coronavirus crisis