Corona measures for employers with regard to payroll
The Dutch government has introduced a number of measures with regard to payroll to help entrepreneurs through this difficult period. The free space of the WKR has been increased, the fixed travel allowance does not need to be adjusted and employers are allowed to reimburse office-equipment tax-free. Below is an overview of the measures related to payroll.
Increase free space of the WKR from 1.7% to 3%
The government has increased the free space of the work-related costs scheme (WKR) once in 2020 from 1.7% to 3% on the taxable wage up to and including € 400,000. Employers may spend this extra free space of up to € 5,200 on tax-free allowances, among other things.
For any amount over € 400,000 the percentage of 1.2% remains applicable.
Fixed travel allowance
For employees who receive a fixed, untaxed travel allowance of € 0.19 per kilometer, but who are now working partially or completely from home, the fixed travel allowance does not need to be adjusted as long as the corona-measures are in effect. However, the condition is that the employee had to have an unconditional right to reimbursement of travel costs before March 13, 2020.
Under the same conditions, other arrangements about fixed fees may also continue. For example, the monthly reimbursement for costs en route from representatives.
Home office facility
Employers are allowed to reimburse or provide certain office equipment for working from home, such as a desk or office chair.
In addition, an employer may purchase tools for their employees such as mobile equipment, laptop, or monitors so that employees can work from home.
The value of the purchase of this equipment that the employer deems necessary to work (necessary for the proper fulfillment of the employment) need not be counted as the employee’s taxable wages. This also applies to equipment that is used by the employee at least 90% of the time for business purposes at his workplace or outside (like at home).
Currently, many employers are experiencing the benefits of staff working from home. Productivity is maintained or even increased and absenteeism is reduced. Because of these benefits, working from home is becoming the norm (the new normal) for employers.
Employers can also set up a home workplace on the basis of the above conditions, even after the measures have been relaxed.
Administrative obligations eased
By working remotely, it is not always possible for employers to comply with the administrative obligations, such as determining the identity of a new employee in person by means of an original proof of identity. Therefore, the government has approved that as long as the corona measures apply, there are no consequences (such as the application of the anonymous rate).
However, as soon as the employer has the opportunity to, for example, establish the identity of the employee, this must still be complied with.
Record employment contract in writing
The WAB (labor market balance) Act was introduced on 1 January 2020. Under the law, an employer pay apply the low premium (2.94% for 2020) for the Unemployment Insurance Act (WW) to employees who have a written, signed open-ended employment contract. This does not apply to employees who don’t have such a contract as well as on-call workers; the high premium of 7.94% (for 2020) must be applied to this group.
For employees who were already employed before the law came into effect, the employer had until 1 April 2020 to record the employment contract in writing without having to apply the high premium. Due to the corona crisis this deadline has been postponed until 1 July 2020. For new employees from 1 January 2020, the employment contract must be laid down in writing right away in order to apply the low premium.
If you have any questions about these measures or the consequences for your salary administration, please feel free to contact the specialists at Crowe Peak.