TOZO financial support (TOZO levensonderhoud)

Freelance journalists and photographers who want to apply for the Government’s special financial support as a result of the Coronavirus lock-down (TOZO) should submit their application before the 1 June. This covers the months March, April and May. 

The scheme is also being extended until the end of August and, TOZO 2, as its being called, has similar conditions except for the level it pays out will now take into account partners’ incomes. The income of those freelancers married or living together with a partner will be topped up to a minimum of €1,500 and for single people to €1,050.

If you have not applied for TOZO 1, you can still apply fort TOZO 2 after I June. But receiving financial support under TOZO 1 does not automatically mean you will receive TOZO 2. You have to apply again by filling in the form at the local authority where you live giving details of your current circumstances, whether you live with someone and want is their income.

Also if your income for the period covered by TOZO 1 turns out to be higher than expected you may have to repay some of the financial support. 

When applying, you should only include your NET income, i.e. your income AFTER deducting expenses and AFTER deducting a further 18% to cover average tax bills.

For Dutch speakers, see point one on the Dutch ZZP site   

NUJ branch members have also inquired about which months are relevant. These are the months in which the work is ACTUALLY PERFORMED, not invoiced or paid. So work carried out outside of the TOZO period March to end of May should not be taken into consideration even if payment is received within the TOZO period.

For more infromation: If I am entitled to the Tozo, how much will I get? And when?

TOZO business loan (TOZO bedrijfskrediet) 

In addition to the TOZO financial support, there is a TOZO business loan that self-employed persons who have liquidity problems as a result of the corona crisis can apply for. However, the loan has a maximum, for the Tozo 1 and Tozo 2 jointly, of €10,157 euros.

The publishers of three Belfast-based newspapers and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have joined together to stand up for journalists and press freedom in Northern Ireland.

This initiative has attracted local and global endorsement, involving many prominent individuals and organisations, all listed in the article on the NUJ website

The public statement appears in the Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and News Letter newspapers today.

This unprecedented joint initiative aims to highlight and challenge the increasing number of threats of violence inflicted on the media.

You can sign the petition to stop the rise in death threats against Northern Ireland journalists here!

© matt kenyonThe National Union of Journalists has launched a News Recovery Plan for the UK and Ireland to sustain the press and media through the Covid-19 crisis and reinvigorate the industry into a reimagined future. 

You can read more about the plan on the NUJ website.

The NUJ has also launched a petition to generate support for the plan.

Sign your support now!



British freelance journalists and photographers may have left the European Union but can still apply for the Coronavirus emergency funds - TOZO - without affecting their residence status.

Freelancers registered with the Chamber of Commerce and working approximately 24 hours a week have a right to apply for TOZO if their income has been affected by the Coronavirus. However, those who do not have permanent residence, especially those in the Netherlands for fewer than five years, and required to remain “economically active”, feared that applying for TOZO may end their right to the residence.

However, while British citizens may no longer be members of the EU, those legally resident here prior to 31/12/2020 are effectively EU citizens for these purposes.

In addition, regarding non-EU citizens in general, Justice and Security minister Ankie Broekers-Knol has replied to a Groen Links question concerning the issue saying: “I will make an exception for non-EU citizens with a residence permit for definite time [i.e. a non-permanent residence permit] with the purpose ‘work in self-employment’ who claim a benefit based on the Temporary Bridging Scheme for Self-Employed Entrepreneurs (TOZO). Considering the special circumstances and the temporary nature of the scheme, claiming a benefit based on this scheme will not have any consequences for the right of residence of the non-EU citizen in question.”

At a joint webinar for business, hosted by the UK and Dutch governments, looking at their response to the Covid 19 crisis, NUJ branch member, photographer Nick Gammon, raised, on behalf of the branch, the issue of TOZO and residency. He asked whether the inevitable drop in future income would not prejudice applications for permanent residency. Nick reports that the UK ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, said that any reduction in income would not affect EU citizens applying for UK residency, while the Dutch ambassador to the UK, Simon Smits, agreed with this general principle.

Nick has also raised this with Jeremy Bierbach, expert with Amsterdam law firm Franssen, which specialise in immigration issues. Bierbach said that under EU treaties and the EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement it would be very difficult for the Netherlands to expel UK citizens legally living here, with less than 5 years residency, for being “economically inactive” under these circumstances.

And, to nail the point, Nick Gammon also argues the government should regard TOZO payments as income rather than benefits and therefore an indication of “economic activity”. 

Check out 'Can EU/EEA/Swiss/British citizens (and their family members) in the Netherlands receive coronavirus support?


For general information:

On Saturday 18 April at 11 am NUJ members will join in solidarity and remembrance to mark the 1st anniversary of the killing of journalist and NUJ member Lyra McKee.
The union plans to mark the anniversary of her needless death in Northern Ireland by celebrating her life and legacy. We invite media organisations, trade unionists, civil society leaders and members of the public to join with us as they did so effectively following her killing.
The union is encouraging members and friends to take part in a symbolic virtual commemoration at 11 am on Saturday morning, using social media to highlight the shared values which Lyra embraced under the banner #WeStandWithLyra
The NUJ has asked media workers to share examples of Lyra's journalism, tributes, memories and pictures on Saturday morning.
In a statement Séamus Dooley said: “In the current circumstances we will gather through social media, which she used so effectively, to celebrate Lyra’s legacy of hope and optimism. We are asking members to take time at 11 am to remember Lyra. Her partner and family will be in our thoughts as  the NUJ community unites under the banner ‘WeStandWithLyra.’ That slogan remains relevant; Lyra’s positive spirit serves as an inspiration in these dark days.”