Interest clubs: cabinet must help SMEs with expensive severance pay

In particular, catering companies, travel agencies, gyms and retailers indicate that they have no money to pay the statutory transition allowance, the severance pay that employers are obliged to pay to employees upon dismissal. They say that they risk bankruptcy.

Biggest cost item

A question of survival, says Hans Biesheuvel of the SME interest group ONL. “There are a lot of companies that are struggling and that will take months. They have to adapt their business model to reality. The biggest cost item is personnel costs and you have to be able to cut that,” Biesheuvel told RTL Z.

Together with the business organization MKB-Nederland and Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (KHN), ONL therefore pleads with the cabinet for financial compensation for transition payments.

How much is a transition payment?

Since January 1, every employee is entitled to a severance payment from day 1. How much money an employee receives on dismissal depends on two things:

  • the amount of your salary
  • the duration of your employment

It then concerns a third of your monthly salary per year of service. So if someone has been employed for 9 years with a gross monthly salary of 3,000 euros, they will receive 9 years x (a third of 3,000 euros), or 9,000 euros. Calculate yourself what you would be entitled to? Then fill in this calculation tool.

Less staff required

Although corona measures allow many companies to reopen, there are still restrictions. For example, a maximum of thirty guests can be present in a restaurant, café or theater as of 1 June, which means that structurally fewer staff are required.

“As an entrepreneur, you are already consumed by your assets without turnover and ongoing costs,” says KHN director Dirk Beljaarts. “A transition payment is still the step towards bankruptcy. See compensation for this as alternative aid, so that the company can adapt to the new reality. And that also applies to the employee who must then receive a good WW benefit.”

Other companies like gyms and bowling alleys won’t be able to reopen until September, while event agencies even have to wait for a vaccine.

Termination fine deleted

The cabinet announced on Wednesday that entrepreneurs who are in trouble due to the corona crisis can still turn to Financial Support for three months longer via the NOW scheme.

In contrast to the earlier version of the scheme, companies will no longer be fined if they dismiss people despite the aid received.

But that is not enough for many smaller entrepreneurs, according to ONL. Biesheuvel: “I am not in favor of scrapping the transition payment. I do not want to deny it to anyone. But I say: finance it before, then a company can get healthy again and hopefully we will find a way to repay this amount. really about those smaller companies that employ people. Their alternative is to go bankrupt and everyone will lose their job. “

Stop control

MKB-Nederland sees compensation for termination benefits as part of a discontinuation scheme, for which it is currently lobbying. “Entrepreneurs who really do not have any prospects should be able to stop in a good way without increasing the debt mountain, without losing everything, including private ones,” said spokesperson Mieke Ripken. “That is not possible now, because you have to pay a transition fee, among other things, and you may be tied to long-term rental contracts.”

The SME association has put this stop scheme on the agenda of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and will discuss this further in the near future.


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