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Unemployment premium as of 1 January 2020

On Monday, December 16, the government came with additional explanation about the WAB. This makes it clear when you have to pay the high and low WW-premium. We explain the most important issues below.

What is the main rule?

You only pay the low premium for written contracts for an indefinite period, whereby you have agreed a fixed number of hours per week or month. A fixed number of hours per year is also allowed, provided that the salary per payment period is equal. For all other contracts you pay the high WW- premium (with a few exceptions).

Flexible working with bandwidth

The Collective Labour Agreement for Retail Non-Food contains a possibility to work flexible. If you use this bandwidth provision, you didn't meet the above conditions. So the high WW-premium applied. Therefor we have, in accorande with the labour unions, made a change to the Collective Labour agreement.

How does the bandwidth work?

The Collective Labour Agreement for Retail Non-Food contains a possibility to work flexibly. This can be found in Article 4.2 of the CLA. Based on this, you can agree on an average number of contract hours per week with the employee. But per week you can schedule someone 35% more or 35% fewer hours. This way you can handle seasonal peaks and troughs. After 12 months should have worked the correct number of hours on average.

For the wage payment you can choose 2 options:
1. You pay the same wage each period.
2. You pay the actual hours worked each period.

If after 12 months you do not arrive exactly at the average number of hours, the CLA used to provide two options:
1. You extend the reference period by 6 months to ensure that you then arrive at exactly the average number of contract hours.
2. You pay the hours that the employee has worked too much.

This rule has been changed. After the 12 months period the employee gets his hours paid which he has worked too much in the 12 months period. If the employee has worked less hours, these hours come for account of the employer.

Why does the high unemployment insurance premium apply?

The government indicates that the 6-month extension period does not fit within the WAB. This option makes it an on-call contract. And that is why you pay the high premium.

Please note: if you want to be eligible for the low WW-premium, you must have chosen option 1 when paying wages: pay the same wage every period. If you now use option 2 (you pay the actual hours worked each period) you are not eligble for the low WW-premium

To which employees does this bandwidth apply?

If you want to make use of the CLA bandwidth, you must have stated this in the employment contract. For example, it states that you use the 35% bandwidth in accordance with the Flexible Working option in the collective labour agreement. This agreement is also mentioned in the INretail example contracts - variable working hours type.

Have you not included this agreement in the employment contract and do you not use it in practice? Then there is no question of this bandwidth agreement.


There are a number of employees for whom you always pay the low WW-premium. Even if you use the bandwidth. So you don't have to make extra agreements with those employees. That is about:
- Employees with a BBL contract
- Employees <21 years of age who do not work more than 12 hours a week, this is calculated over the payment period of a month or 4 weeks.
You also pay the high unemployment insurance premium for temporary contracts (with the exception of the 2 groups above). You do not have to make this additional agreement with those employees either.

Model contracts

The Dutch sample contracts on the website have been changed to this new information.

Extraordinary situations

Temporary extra work
It often happens that you want an employee to temporarily work extra. For example, to take care of maternity leave or illness. It is now clear that you pay the high unemployment insurance premium for those temporary extra hours. It does not matter whether you have entered into a 2nd employment contract for this or added that agreement as an appendix to the original employment contract.

Written requirement
To qualify for the low unemployment insurance premium, one of the administrative requirements is that there is a written employment contract.