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Have you been affected by the severe weather? RVA eases support measures

29 July 2021 Marijke Beelen Employers

Have you been affected by the severe weather? RVA eases support measures

RVA has published the easing of measures which will make it easier to offer support to employers and employees. Here we give you an update of the changes since our previous blog about the severe weather conditions.

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It is impossible to carry out work

If the heavy rainfall has made it impossible to carry out work, organisations can resort to temporary unemployment due to force majeure for both blue and white collar workers. This may apply in the following cases:

  • Business premises were flooded
  • There was a short circuit due to rainfall
  • Your employees would normally work outdoors, but it was not possible because of the severe weather

The principle of temporary unemployment due to force majeure remains unchanged: force majeure means that work is temporarily and completely impossible.

  • Temporarily: work activities will be resumed
  • Completely: work is completely impossible. If you think that alternative work activities may be required (e.g. cleaning up) or your employees can work online from home, you cannot apply the temporary unemployment rule.

Commuting is impossible

Public transport was impacted by the severe weather: some streets were flooded and rail traffic has been severely disrupted or cancelled.

If your employee cannot reach work via an alternative means of transport and cannot work online from home either, it is also permitted to apply the temporary unemployment rule. For both blue and white collar workers, this also relates to temporary unemployment in the event of force majeure.

Employees severely affected by the severe weather

In 'normal' circumstances, the reason must be that work has become impossible due to force majeure (e.g. when business premises are flooded). What is new is that RVA will accept circumstances in which work was not directely rendered impossible , and in this case till at least 15 August.

This applies to the following situations, such as:

  • Your employee needs to find alternative accommodation
  • Your employee needs to clean or carry out repairs to their accommodation
  • Your employee needs to arrange their claim for damages
  • Your employee needs to find alternative means of transport

Temporary unemployment due to force majeure is allowed to alternate

RVA accepts that temporary unemployment due to force majeure may alternate. This means that your employee can work alternate shifts, when possible, and can be temporarily unemployed for reasons of force majeure. They do not have to be the same employees who go to work: alternating between employees is possible.

Holiday plans or catch-up restdays cannot be cancelled in lieu for temporary unemployment

If holiday or catch-up rest days had already been planned, you cannot apply for temporary unemployment on those days. Holiday or catch-up rest days take precedence. Moreover, there should be no entitlement to guaranteed daily wage on the day you decide to apply temporary unemployment. There is a right to guaranteed daily wage if your employee had already started work on the day or had already arrived at work.

Application procedure for temporary unemployment in the event of force majeure

In 'normal' circumstances, an employer who wants to invoke temporary unemployment due to force majeure must inform RVA and give a description of the facts that constitute the relevant force majeure.

From 14 July to 31 July, RVA will accept temporary unemployment due to force majeure without this notification. However, when declaring social risk (ASR WECH 5) for the days of temporary unemployment 'force majeure' (code nature of the day 5.4) and the reason for the force majeure 'exceptional weather conditions’ must be stated.

Asof 1 August, employers must send the notification to RVA electronically.

  • if it is a declaration because work activities in your company can no longer be continued due to the (consequences of the) severe weather conditions, then this declaration will be accepted for a maximum period of 3 months (this period may be extended). The foreseen duration and reason for unemployment must be reported but there is no need to add supporting documents.
  • if the reason for force majeure is the employee’s private circumstances, this declaration will only be accepted until 15 August.

Check-in cards C3.2A are not needed until 30 September and, if the employee needs to apply for benefits, they can use the simplified form C3.2-Employee-CORONA and the ASR WECH 5 until 30 September.

Finally, RVA states that employees who have lost their permanent residential address and have moved to temporary accommodation need not report this to RVA insofar as this period is limited to 31 August 2021. Volunteers are exempt from declarations if they are temporarily or fully unemployed, carrying out voluntary work such as cleaning up affected areas or helping the population affected.

If, after 15 August, temporary unemployment due to force majeure is no longer an option for employees who have suffered serious damages or losses, it is still possible to fall back on leave for compelling reasons as described in our previous blog, as is the possibility for you to support your employee financially.

 

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Geschreven door Marijke Beelen

Juridisch adviseur bij Acerta

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