Application period for NOW 4.0 open
Application period for NOW 4.0 open (sixth application period)
Ingmar Pondes
Ingmar Pondes

Managing partner | Tax advisor
+31 (0)545 - 46 36 26

Sanne Freriks
Sanne Freriks

Senior Legal Expert
+31 (0)544 - 39 33 33

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Application period for NOW 4.0 open (sixth application period)


The application period for NOW 4.0 (sixth application period) has been opened. You can apply up to and including September 30, 2021 for wage compensation for the period from July up to and including September 2021.

Below we will outline the most important points regarding NOW 4.0.


The criterion of a minimum 20% decrease in turnover remains unchanged. For NOW 4.0 the maximum decrease in turnover to be reported is 80%. This is a new condition compared to previous NOW application periods. So even if your decline in turnover is 90%, you will receive a grant on the basis of an 80% decline in turnover. 

The decline in turnover must still be at least 20% over a three-month period. You can choose when you want this three-month period to start: on the first of July 2021, the first of August 2021 or the first of September 2021. If you have also applied for NOW 3.3, the three-month period of NOW 4.0 must connect directly with the three-month period of NOW 3.3 chosen. The decrease in turnover must be calculated by dividing the total turnover of 2019 by four, after which this turnover must be compared with the expected turnover in the selected three-month period in 2021.

The TVL no longer counts towards the turnover for the NOW. If you also apply for the TVL, your turnover will be higher as a result and you can therefore apply for a higher NOW subsidy.

Wage sum and exemption percentage

The wage sum of February 2021 is used as the reference month for the subsidy level. The wage sum of February 2021 is compared with the wage sum of the months July 2021 to September 2021.

NOW 4.0 also offers scope to reduce part of the wage sum without affecting the level of grant, the so-called 'exemption percentage'. Under NOW 4.0, the wage sum may decrease by a maximum of 10% (compared to the wage sum in February 2021) without this affecting the final grant.

Employer's costs surcharge

The fixed (lump sum) surcharge for employers' costs (such as holiday pay and pension contributions) remains 40%.

Level of subsidy

The subsidy reimburses 85% of the wage costs (including mark-up).

The maximum wage to be reimbursed per employee is twice the daily wage, being an amount of € 9,813 gross per month.

Additional conditions

  • If you receive a subsidy advance of € 125,000 or more or the subsidy is set at € 125,000 or more, you must declare that you will not pay out any dividends, will not pay out any bonuses (including profit-sharing) to the board and will not purchase any of your own shares. This condition is valid for the year 2021. If it concerns an application at operating company level, the parent company or group head of the group of which the operating company is a part may not pay out any bonuses either and the group may not pay out any dividends/ profit-sharing or purchase its own shares. This also applies if your advance payment or final allowance is lower than € 125,000.
  • Note: Do you receive an advance payment or a final grant of more than € 125,000? Then you must conclude an agreement with a representation of employees about the bonus and dividend policy. This is a new condition. The agreement must be present when applying for the NOW 4.0 grant.
  • If you terminate or do not extend an employee's employment contract during the subsidy period, you have a best-effort obligation to help the employee find other employment. If you apply for economic dismissal, you are obliged to report this via UWV telephone NOW (088 - 898 20 04). If you do not report this, the final subsidy will be reduced by 5%.
  • As an employer, you must declare that you will make every effort to encourage employees to take part in development advice or training. This further training is possible through the existing Training and Development Funds and the SLIM scheme. There is also an additional emergency fund: "NL learns by". With the help of this fund, employees can follow online training and development advice free of charge, in order to adapt to the new economic situation. 
  • After the application, you will once again receive an advance of 80% of the subsidy amount and the remaining 20% when the subsidy is approved.

To conclude

For the sake of completeness: after submitting the NOW application, a number of other conditions apply to you as an employer. In order to prevent these from being forgotten after the application has been submitted, they are listed below:

  • Aim for the wage sum in the months July to September 2021 not to be lower than in February 2021. A decreasing wage sum (more than 10%, in connection with the exemption percentage) leads to a considerably(!) lower subsidy. Therefore, keep employees in service as much as possible, regardless of the form of contract, and continue to pay the wages of the employees. If this does not work out, take into account that the subsidy will still be partly reduced and reserve at least a part, because there is a possible repayment obligation later on. On balance, you will always save by keeping your wage sum as low as possible, because the compensation will never be 100%, but you will be able to continue paying staff their full salary relatively cheaply. 
  • Only use the subsidy to pay the wage sum.
  • Inform your works council, staff representative body or employees about the allowance. 
  • Keep records that allow the UWV to check whether you meet all conditions for the allowance. Keep these records for 5 years after the concession has been granted.
  • Continue to file the wage tax return in time.
  • Inform the UWV if circumstances arise that have consequences for the concession, for example, if the business ceases to operate.
  • Cooperate with UWV investigations as necessary to take a decision on the concession.


Would you like us to apply for NOW for you or are you unsure about applying for NOW? Please do not hesitate to contact our lawyers, tax consultants or your regular contact person at BonsenReuling.

SMA Accountants