What you need to know about the NOW scheme in 2021


As long as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, businesses will need government support. The Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (Dutch acronym: NOW) is meant to compensate employers in the Netherlands for the wage costs they incur. Read on to find out what to look out for if you are interested in applying for a NOW grant in 2021.

Please make sure that you prepare your application with due care and file it on time to avoid unwelcome surprises.

Application period

The NOW scheme was renewed on 1 October 2020. It will now be in effect until 1 July 2021.

  • NOW 4 (fourth application period): from 1 January to 1 April 2021
  • NOW 5 (fifth application period): from 1 April to 1 July 2021

The application period for NOW 4 is closed. The fifth application period is expected to open between 17 May and 13 June 2021.

NOW 5 – conditions

  • You will qualify for a NOW-5 grant if your loss of revenue is at least 20%.
  • The NOW-4 and NOW-5 grants have been capped at 85% of your wage bill. This used to be 80% under earlier versions of the scheme.
  • The loss of revenue for the purposes of NOW 4 is based on a three-month period starting on 1 January, 1 February or 1 March 2021.
  • The loss of revenue for the purposes of NOW 5 is based on a three-month period starting on 1 April, 1 May or 1 June 2021.

In other words, the same conditions apply to NOW5 and NOW4.

We realise that the scheme may seem complex to you. We, at acconavm, would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the conditions or help you navigate the scheme.

NOW – what to look out for?

Within two to four weeks after you have filed your NOW application, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) will pay you the first instalment of the grant in the form of an advance.

The actual amount you are entitled to under the NOW scheme will not be determined until after you have submitted your request for settlement. The deadline for submitting your request for settlement for NOW 1 is 31 October 2021, depending on the type of application and the amount of the grant. Once the settlement has taken place, you will be paid the last instalment of the grant or be expected to pay back some or all of the grant based on your actual loss of revenue.

Preparation is everything

We are well aware that the current uncertainties are complicating matters, but it is important for the purposes of your NOW application that you make a realistic estimate of your loss of revenue. At acconavm, we would be more than happy to help you flesh out a number of scenarios that are tailored to your specific situation.

If this is your first time applying for a NOW grant, please remember that, in some instances, your request for settlement must be accompanied by a third-party statement or an auditor’s report.

  • You will need to submit a third-party statement if your advance was higher than € 20,000 or the amount at which the grant was settled exceeds € 25,000.
  • You will need to submit an auditor’s report if your advance was € 100,000 or higher, or if your advance was lower, but your grant has been settled at € 125,000 or higher.

At acconavm, we can arrange for a third-party statement or an auditor’s report for you. We would remind you that this is a time-consuming process, which is why it is advisable to call us in at an early stage. We can also provide accounting support in preparing your request for settlement.

More information

Our international advisers are there for you if you need help with your NOW application or have any additional questions. Please do not hesitate to contact your acconavm adviser or send an email to if you are interested in finding out more about our services.

Need advice on this subject?
Fill in the form and we will contact you
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

<< back to overview