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Coronavirus in the Netherlands: measures companies can take

Publication date: 20 March 2020
The measures introduced to control the spread of the coronavirus are becoming increasingly strict. What do you, as an employer, have to take into account? More than you think! Read our article in the newsletter for SMEs by Ondernemersbelang.

coronacrisis-mkb

The measures introduced to control the spread of the coronavirus are becoming increasingly strict. Social life comes to a halt. The catering sector is shut down and company and retail turnover is declining, except for supermarkets and pharmacies. What do you, as an employer, have to take into account? More than you think! Read our article in the newsletter for SMEs by Ondernemersbelang.

Entrepreneur

The big question is how to prevent your company from damage. What if your supplier cannot meet his obligations? Check your contracts whether in that case you can recover the damage from your supplier. Also check what happens if you cannot meet your obligations yourself because your personnel is sick at home or you cannot deliver, for instance due to a production problem. Does the corona crisis qualify as force majeure and you do not have to meet your obligations? Does your insurance cover this risk?

Employer

Do you know how to limit the consequences for your company? Reduction of working hours, (mandatory) taking of holidays, recourse to the SME credit guarantee scheme, dismissal for commercial reasons. Which measure can you take and when?

Can you oblige an employee to get tested for the coronavirus? Are you allowed to deny employees access to the company? And do you have to pay the costs for stay and accommodation if your employee is quarantined during a business trip? And what if an employee has to take care of infected family members? Emergency leave as well as short and long-term care leave may play a role. Are you liable if one of your employees has the virus and has infected other colleagues or customers? And there are other points to consider.

Retail property and commercial property

Who takes responsibility for the rent if your company has to shut down or the turnover is declining?  Does it matter if you shut down the store yourself or are forced to do so? Can you, as a lessee, claim moderation of the rent?

Have you thought about this?

Working from home often means working online. Cyber security is at risk. Contacts with business partners will also take place online, in particular with foreign partners. The more people work from home, the more vulnerable your business data will become for hackers. Are you liable if your company is not only hit by the coronavirus but also by a computer virus?

Most courts are closing the doors, but, in principle, the deadlines remain unchanged.

More information

In many cases the answer will depend on the situation of your company and your insurance policy. We will therefore be happy to answer your questions about preparing for and limiting potential risks for your company. Please contact our specialists Reinier W.L. Russell, LL.M. (reinier.russell@russell.nl and 020 – 301 55 55), Jan Dop, LL.M. (jan.dop@russell.nl and 020-301 55 55) or Priscilla C.X. de Leede, LL.M. (priscilla.deleede@russell.nl and 020-301 55 55). Please consult our webpage on the coronavirus for tips and the latest updates.

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