The lockdown has been lifted and the Covid guidelines have been made less strict. Whether this will contribute to a potential second wave of infections remains to be seen.
What has become visible in the past few weeks, is the impact of the initial crisis measures on the economy overall and specifically on the payroll sector.
Numerous reports by Dutch watchdogs, analysts and market-leading companies have illustrated a major drop in job listings and reluctance of hiring and procurement managers to commit to hiring contractors even for short-term projects.
From our position as a payroll company, we have recently seen many project cancellations, a large decrease in workload on continuing projects, and a complete hiring stop in specific business areas, such as the oil and gas industry.
The Dutch government has implemented financial aid measures right at the beginning of the Covid crisis in anticipation of a large crisis impact on the economy, with the aim to prevent a complete collapse.
These aid measures are divided into initial and follow-up packages.
The first statistics about the initial aid package are now available and show in detail which economic sectors have been hit the hardest.
Unsurprisingly, the sectors suffering the highest loss of income and turnover are the hospitality & catering branches, as well as retail and commercial services sectors.
Smaller companies suffer the highest losses and receive the most government aid.
The sectors least affected by the crisis seem to be the energy and water sectors, with only a 20% drop in turnover.
(Sources: data published by UWV, June 2020)
As a payroll provider, our business falls in the financial services sector, operating for numerous businesses sectors and various industries.
So far we have been able to keep our business stable and supplement the loss of work time for some of our contractor clients by utilising one of the government aid packages, the NOW.
We will continue to do so for as long as possible where necessary.
The NOW aid package has been extended by the government after analysis of the economic situation. The sectors impacted most by the corona crisis are primary beneficiaries of the aid packages.
Other business sectors that have not been badly affected have seen a small increase in operations in the last weeks, suggesting that the consequences of the lockdown and quarantine can remain manageable.
Even though the recovery from the crisis will be slow, we hope to see a small but steady increase in the number of job vacancies and placements in the Dutch market in the coming months. Let’s hope we can keep the use of the aid packages to a minimum until then.