Permanent workers also starting to feel Covid consequences
After flexible- and temporary workers, employees with permanent contracts are now also feeling the effects of the coronavirus. In June, July and August, benefits agency UWV received over 9,200 dismissal requests for economic reasons - 2.7 times more than in the same period last year, NRC reports based on figures from the UWV.
In March, April and May, the UWV saw an increase in dismissal requests for economic reasons, but it was still relatively small at 4,800 requests - 1.7 times more than in the same period last year. In those months, the blows fell mainly on the temp and flex workers, who are easier to dismiss. Tens of thousands of flexible and temporary workers lost their jobs. These dismissals did not go through the UWV because no dismissal permit is needed for them, Rob Witjes of the UWV said to the newspaper.
In June, things changed, and the UWV saw a sudden increase in dismissal requests. 4,470 dismissals for economic reasons were filed in June - 2.5 times more than the month before, and nearly 6 times more than in June 2019. The number of dismissal applications remained high in July and August.
Witjes thinks the sudden increase in June has to do with the second round of the NOW regulation, with which the government helps pay the wage costs of companies in trouble due to Covid, starting that month. "For many companies, that was a moment of choice: am I going to wait and apply for support again, or am I already saying goodbye to my superfluous people?" In the second round of the NOW regulation, it was also easier for employers to fire staff - the so-called "dismissal fine" was partly scrapped.
Trade unions are expecting an increase in companies who want to reorganize now that the crisis is continuing and state aid is being phased out, Zakaria Boufangacha of FNV said to the newspaper. The third round of the NOW regulation, which is more austere, also started this month. "I expect more announcements of reorganizations to follow next month. I fear it,' Boufangacha said.
Unions and employers would like to see the coronavirus support measures extended, now that infection numbers are rising and stricter measures are being implemented. On Thursday, the unions discussed this with the government and agreed to reassess the situation in two weeks, Boufangacha said. "If it turns out that more support is needed, then we will take a serious look at it," he said to NRC.