Dutch benefits scheme hits the limit

24th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Employment program that began in March no longer accepting new applications.

The Hague – The temporary benefits scheme which enabled businesses to hold onto their skilled employees despite the economic crisis is closed for new applicants, according to social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner.

Donner announced on Monday that the allocated budget of EUR 375 million has been spent following a recent rise in applications. The benefits program, known as WW, was introduced by the minister in March.

Many employers were applying for benefits on behalf of the bulk of their staff, while the scheme was meant to keep skilled workers employed, said Donner.

Under the program, employers receive government benefits in order to pay salaries to skilled workers that they would otherwise have to lay off. It is intended for businesses who are healthy enough to survive the economic crisis, but have suffered a severe drop in turnover on its account.

Applications sent in before 23 June will be processed as usual.

The ministry of social affairs has planned to investigate other ways to help ailing manufacturers.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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