What the coalition agreement means for businesses
The Dutch government presented its coalition agreement on 15 December last year. Here, we’ve summarized the most important points in this agreement for you.
Innovation and sustainability
The government wants businesses to become more sustainable and to make the various schemes and arrangements for this more straightforward. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), for example, will be able to access the National Heat Fund for financing energy-saving investments. And start-ups or scale-ups in the climate, energy, digitalization, artificial intelligence or quantum computing sectors or the circular economy will in future be able to count on more support.
The government has also confirmed it will be continuing its policy on top sectors. This includes setting up a new research and science fund for financing investments in knowledge and innovation. You can find more information on the government’s top sectors on rvo.nl.
Social entrepreneurs will at some point be able to operate as a ‘social company’ (or ‘bvm’). Being a ‘bvm’ will mean these entrepreneurs can show that they see their societal impact as more important than distributing profits to shareholders. It should be noted that the bvm is not a new form of legal entity. And the date on which the new legislation will come into force has not been announced.
The government wants to make the tax system more straightforward by getting rid of various deductions. One change attracting particular attention is the decision to speed up the phasing-out of the allowance for self-employed contractors. This is going to be reduced at an accelerated rate of €650 per year to €1,200 by 2030. The self-employed will be compensated by an increase in the employment tax credit. In addition, the government wants to introduce an easier and fairer way to pass on family businesses, while also combating abuse.
Wages, salaries and personnel
Although details have still to be announced, the government is planning to invest €500 million in restructuring the labor market, re-integrating people into the workforce and reducing poverty. It plans to introduce a minimum hourly wage, based on a 36-hour working week, and a phased increase of 7.5% in the minimum wage. Efforts will be made to reduce the differences between employees on permanent contracts and those on flexible contracts, while plans are also being made to combat bogus self-employment. Meanwhile the government intends to set aside €300 million a year to help SMEs continue paying staff who are ill.
The plans also address the issue of childcare for employees with young children. The childcare subsidy for children up to the age of 12 will gradually increase to 95% (and ultimately 100%), while the paid parental leave allowance will rise to 70% of daily pay.