Labour market protection & business support
– review of act to amend COVID-19 emergency legislation

 

Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund (GEBF) available to support employer's wage costs (Article 15g)

  • GEBF support will be available for employers to fund wages during idle time (stoppage) or reduced working time introduced by employer due to a COVID-19-induced decrease in turnover (defined as volume or value of sales of goods or services):

a) by not less than 15% year-on-year (total turnover within any two consecutive months as of January 2020 vs. total turnover within the same two months last year), or

b) by not less than 25% month-on-month since January 2020.

  • The support amounts to:

50% of minimum wage (adjusted for working time basis) with respect to employees on idle time whom the employer pays up to 50% less but in any case at least the minimum wage (adjusted for working time basis);

up to half the wage for employees with working time basis reduced by 20% but not more than down to 0.5 FTE, provided that the wage cannot be less than the minimum wage (adjusted for working time basis); this support cannot exceed 40% of average wage.

  • Such employers are entitled to GEBF money to pay social security contributions due from them in relation to the wage support that has been granted to them.
  •  The support is available provided that the employer is not in arrears with payment of taxes, social security or health insurance contributions, or contributions to GEBF, the Labour Fund or the Solidarity Fund for any period up to and including third quarter 2019.
  • · Support is available for a total of three months from application, except that the Council of Ministers may extend that time by regulation in order to fight the consequences of COVID-19.
  •  The monies and benefits are paid during the idle time or when the reduced working time basis remains in effect.
  •  Support is not available with respect to those employees whose remuneration in the month preceding the application month was more than 300% of the average monthly wage in the previous quarter, as published by central statistical authority (Prezes GUS).
  •  Employee = a person who under Polish law is in an employment relationship with the affected employer or is hired under an outwork contract, a contract of mandate or any other contract for services.
  • GEBF support will be available to an employer provided he has not received job protection support for the same employees and on the same basis.
  •  The conditions and manner of provision of work during idle time or reduced working time will be negotiated by the employer with company unions or with workforce representatives appointed as is customary in the employer's company.

 

Partial refund of wage costs and related social security contributions in the event of decreased business turnover – monies granted under contract with county authorities to micro-enterprises and SMEs (Article 15zzb)

  • For micro-enterprises and SMEs with employees, if business turnover decreases due to COVID-19 within any two consecutive months after 1 January 2020, comparing to the same two months of the previos year, by:

-  at least 30%, the aid will equal up to 50% of the total of the employees' wages with related social security contributions, but in any case not more than 50% of the minimum wage including employer-paid social security contributions,

at least 50%, the aid will equal up to 70% of the total of the employees' wages with related social security contributions, but in any case not more than 70% of the minimum wage including employer-paid social security contributions,

-  at least 80%, the aid will equal up to 90% of the total of the employees' wages with related social security contributions, but in any case not more than 90% of the minimum wage including employer-paid social security contributions,

provided that the support will not be granted to the extent the same costs have been or will be refunded using other public monies.

  •  The support is payable monthly and available for a maximum of three months from application.
  •  Applications are to be filed to the county employment office in the county where the business is established or the employees work within 14 days from announcement by the director of the employment office.

 

Idle time benefit for individuals in business (other than farmers) or working under commercial agency contracts or other contracts for services which the Civil Code treats on a par with contracts of mandate or of specific work (Article 15zq)

  • Idle time benefit is available to persons residing and staying legally in the Republic of Poland.
  • The benefit applies in the event of idle time (stoppage) of the business due to COVID-19.
  • Who is eligible:

traders who started in business before 1 February 2020 if their revenue in the month preceding the application fell by at least 15% over the previous month;

traders who have suspended their business after 31 January 2020, if they started in business before 1 February 2020;

persons working under contracts governed by civil law (mandate, commercial agency, specific work), on condition the contract was entered into before 1 February 2020;

  •  Eligibility requirements:

revenue in the month preceding the application was lower than 300% of the average monthly wage in the previous quarter, as published by central statistical authority;

the applicant is not otherwise subject to the social security regime (e.g. under contract of employment).

  •  The benefit equals 80% of the minimum wage in 2020 (PLN 2080), except for:

persons working under civil law contracts, if their total taxable revenue from those contracts in the month preceding the application was less than 50% of the minimum wage in 2020, in which case the benefit will equal the total of such wages;

businesses which pay a fixed income tax (karta podatkowa) and are exempt from VAT, in which case the benefit will equal 50% of the minimum wage in 2020.

  • For the purposes of the fight against COVID-19, the Council of Ministers may by regulation grant another payment of the idle time benefit.
  • Applications for the idle time benefit can be filed until a date falling three months after the month in which the state of epidemic is called off.
  • The benefit comes from the Labour Fund.
  • It is paid by ZUS on approval of the application.
  • The money is free from income tax and social security contributions and free from withholdings, deductions or enforcement.
  • Applications are to be filed to ZUS, except that for persons working under civil law contracts (commercial agency contracts or other contracts for services which the Civil Code treats on a par with contracts of mandate or of specific work), they are to be filed via the client or customer.
  • ZUS may claim repayment of the benefit if it turns out not to have been due (e.g. in the event of fraud).

 

Business expenses support for individuals in business  – monies granted under contract with county authorities to SMEs (Article 15zzc)

  • Business expenses support for a maximum of 3 months (extendable by regulation of the Council of Ministers), with the amount depending on the decrease in turnover:

at least 30% decrease = 50% of minimum wage,

at least 50% decrease = 70% of minimum wage,

at least 80% decrease = 90% of minimum wage;

provided that the support will not be granted to the extent the same costs have been or will be refunded using other public monies.

  •  Applications are to be filed to the county employment office in the county where the business is carried on within 14 days from announcement by the director of the employment office.
  •  The benefit is paid monthly after the trader files a representation that he has been in business during the month for which the benefit is to be paid.
  •  The trader must continue in business at least for the duration of the support and for the same duration after the support ceases.
  •  If the trader does not continue in business for any time throughout the duration of the support, he will have to refund the support without interest pro rata to the time during which he has not been in business, with the refund to be made within 30 days from service of request by the county authority.
  •  The support will not be available to the extent the same business expenses have been or will be refunded using other public monies.

 

 

One-off loan to micro-enterprises to pay regular business expenses – monies available under contract with county authority (Article 15zzd)

  •  Maximum loan amount is PLN 5,000.
  •  The loan debt will be forgiven (including interest) if the micro-enterprise does not decrease its FTE staffing level for 3 months from the loan grant (comparing to 29 February 2020).
  •  Condition: trader had to be in business already before 1 March 2020.
  •  The loan bears interest at a fixed per annum rate equal to 0.05 of the rediscount rate applicable by the National Bank of Poland to commercial paper.
  •  The loan must be repaid within a maximum of 12 months, with the initial 3 months to be treated as a grace period covering principal and interest.
  •  The time for repayment of the loan may be extended by regulation of the Council of Ministers.

 

Waiver of social security contributions for businesses with fewer than 10 staff reported for social security purposes as at 29 February 2020 (Article 31 zo)

  • The waiver concerns the following contributions: social security, health insurance, Labour Fund, Solidarity Fund, GEBF or Bridge Pensions Fund, due for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020, provided the contributions are reported in relevant filings made for that period and the business was registered as contribution remitter before 1 February 2020.
  • Waiver applications are to be filed to the Social Security Institution (ZUS) by 30 June 2020 at the latest.

 

Waiver of social security contributions for persons in non-agricultural business (as defined in social security legislation) who pay exclusively their own contributions, whether social security or health insurance, and are contribution remitters (Article 31 ro)

  • Conditions:

the person was in business before 1 February 2020,

the revenue from the business for the first month in which the waiver is applied for was not more than 300% of the projected gross average monthly wage in the national economy in 2020.

  • The waiver applies to the following contributions: mandatory pension and disability insurance, accident insurance, voluntary sickness insurance, health insurance, Labour Fund and Solidarity Fund, due for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020.
  • With respect to:

persons in non-agricultural business and their associates,

persons working under commercial agency contracts, contracts of mandate or other contracts for services which the Civil Code treats on a par with contracts of mandate, and their associates whose assessable amount for contribution payment purposes is a declared amount,

the waiver applies to contributions payable on the lowest assessable amount applicable to such persons and associates.

 

Employers with disable workers (sheltered employment establishments) can receive compensation for wages of employees with disabilities

  • Compensation is paid by PFRON (special fund for the disabled) pro rata to the number of days in a month during which the employer suspended its business or had less revenue from the business.

 

Additional allowances for carers for up to 14 days

  • Available to an insured carer who has taken a leave from work to provide necessary personal care to a child up to the age of 8 or a child up to the age of 18 who has been declared disabled to a substantial or moderate degree, or a child who has been declared disabled, if the child's crèche, kindergarten, school or other such centre has been closed or there is no babysitter or day carer available for the child.
  • Available to an insured carer who has taken a leave from work to provide necessary personal care to an adult with disability if the adult's school, revalidation and education centre, support centre, occupational therapy workshop or other such day care centre has been closed.

 

Other measures targeting the labour market

  • Employers will be forced to offer mandatory leave from work to young workers, hired for vocational purposes, for the duration of temporary school system lockdown (the cost of wages paid by the employers to such workers during the time will be refunded under the existing reimbursement contract).
  • Employers will be allowed to apply more flexible rules to working time and conditions of work to ensure job retention (on condition this is agreed with the unions or workforce representatives).
  • Increased monthly wage support for employers having workers with disabilities.
  • Businesses employing persons with disabilities or operating as sheltered employment establishments can be granted support of up to EUR 800,000 per enterprise.

 

Doradztwo Podatkowe WTS&SAJA Sp. z o.o.

Bałtyk Building, 13th floor

ul. Roosevelta 22

60-829 Poznań

tel. (+48) 61 643 45 50

Warsaw Office

Central Tower, 22nd floor

Al. Jerozolimskie 81

02-001 Warszawa

 

Doradztwo Podatkowe WTS&SAJA reserves all copyrights in this content. Doradztwo Podatkowe WTS&SAJA shall not be held legally liable for any acts or omissions taken in reliance on the above information.

 

 

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