Legal articles

Holiday leave during the coronavirus

Employers and employees are struggling with questions regarding holiday leave as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, as many employees are obligated to work from home as a result of government’s or employers’ measures. Can an employer designate part of this period as holiday? As a general rule, employers may not unilaterally impose a holiday, but they can ask employees to take holida...

How new and existing Dutch tax measures can help mitigate financial impact of coronavirus

The coronavirus has prompted governments around the world to launch emergency relief packages. We summarise those introduced in the Netherlands below. Besides checking whether you can benefit from these measures, it is also worthwhile to look at existing tax facilities that can provide liquidity relief during the crisis. And we also recommend paying closer attention to secondary tax liability issu...

Coronavirus and competition law – state aid, merger control, crisis cartels and price hikes

Competition law has an important role to play in assessing the legitimacy of economic actions taken by EU member states and businesses in dealing with the impact of the coronavirus. National measures to mitigate economic harm may constitute state aid, which has to be approved by the Commission. The Commission has adopted a temporary framework to test the compatibility of national measures with EU ...

Dutch government announces emergency wage subsidies to support employers

On Tuesday 17 March, the Dutch government announced that it is to introduce a temporary scheme of emergency salary subsidies – also known as “NOW”. The scheme applies to all employers, big and small, whose revenues have been reduced by at least 20% since 1 March 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak and by the government measures taken to prevent the virus from rapidly spreadi...

Coronavirus – how it impacts on your annual general meeting

The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) affects society and daily life. It disrupts ordinary business and causes significant challenges, also from a legal perspective. One issue that requires the attention of companies is how the coronavirus outbreak impacts their upcoming annual general meeting (AGM).   So how best to address likely disruption to your AGM? What are your options of limitin...

Share buyback programmes: accelerating or suspending during stock market volatility

The growing impact of the coronavirus worldwide, the drop in oil prices and other related issues have led to European and global financial markets witnessing market prices at a historic low last week. In response, the eight largest banks in the US have announced that they have collectively suspended their share buyback programmes until the end of June 2020. They will instead use their cash to prov...

Dutch Supreme Court rules: partial dismissal possible at employee’s request

A recent Supreme Court ruling has opened up the possibility for a partial dismissal at the employee’s initiative. Although the statutory dismissal procedure does not allow a partial dismissal by the employer, the Supreme Court now hands tools to the employee to accomplish this. If confronted with an employer filing a termination request with the court, the employee can make a reasonable coun...

Trend: discrimination between online customers remains firmly on EU’s radar

Companies that discriminate against online customers because of their country of residence, are under the Commission’s increased scrutiny. This concerns not only B2C, but also B2B higher-up the distribution chain if distributors are unduly restricted in Europe-wide resales. Since the 2017 inquiry into the e-commerce sector, and as a part of its ambition to complete the digital single market,...

DNB clarifies guidance statements | Pension funds in the lead on organising key functions

According to its March pensions newsletter, the Dutch Central Bank has noticed a lack of clarity among pensions funds about the status of Q&As on the supervisor’s website. Pension funds have to imbed key functions in their organisations pursuant to the IORP II directive and Q&As have been issued on this subject. For this reason, the central bank explains that its Q&As should be r...

It depends – ECJ gives guidance on tax refunds for dividends paid to non-resident funds

The European Court of Justice recently issued guidance to the Dutch Supreme Court about shareholder and distribution requirements for fiscal investment institutions (FII) that apply in the Netherlands. In 2017, KA Deka – a German investment fund – had asked the Dutch tax authorities for a refund of withholding tax paid on dividends received from Dutch companies. The authorities refused to ...
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