Financial assistance for entrepreneurs
For employers whose economic turnover has fallen as a result of the epidemic, a benefit for the protection of jobs has been provided – co-financing for employee remuneration paid from the Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund (PL:FGŚP).
A decrease in economic turnover is understood as a decrease in the sale of goods or services, in terms of quantity or value:
- Not less than 15%, calculated as the ratio of total turnover over the next 2 months in the period after 01/01/2020, to the total turnover from the corresponding 2 months of the previous year following the occurrence of COVID 19, or
- Not less than 25%, calculated as the ratio of total turnover in any given month in the period after 01/01/2020, compared to the turnover from the previous month.
In this case, two benefits for employers are foreseen.
First, in the event of an economic downtime due to a decrease in economic turnover following the occurrence of COVID-19, the employer pays reduced remuneration: by no more than 50% but not lower than the amount of the minimum remuneration taking into account working time. The reduced employee’s salary is co-financed by the FGŚP in the amount of 50% of the minimum salary, taking into account working time.
Secondly, an employer who has reduced working time due to a decrease in economic turnover following a COVID-19 epidemic may reduce an employee’s working time by 20%, not more than up to 0.5 full-time jobs, provided that the remuneration cannot be lower than the minimum wage, taking into account working time. With such a reduced time, FGŚP will subsidize up to 40% of the average monthly salary from the previous quarter.
In addition, for entrepreneurs who suffered a decline in economic turnover there is also a possibility of co-financing social security contributions due for remuneration.
For small companies employing up to 9 people, exemption from Social Insurance Institution (PL: ZUS) contributions is foreseen for 3 months, i.e. from March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020. The exemption applies to contributions for the entrepreneur and the persons working for him.
For employers who are not in arrears in settling tax liabilities and social security contributions, there is also a possibility of reducing:
- Daily uninterrupted rest time for an employee from 11 to 8 hours (with a guarantee of providing the employee withrest equivalent within 8 weeks).
- Weekly rest time from 35 to 32 hours.
The employer, in consultation with trade unions or employee representatives, will also be able to extend the daily working time to 12 hours and the reference period to a maximum of 12 months.
There is also possibility to submit requests for deferred payment or to divide social security contributions into installments.
Credit and loans
A one-time loan of PLN 5,000.00 is also provided for micro-enterprises. The loan has a fixed interest rate of 0.05% – the repayment period is 12 months.
Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego may grant in its own name and on its own, sureties and guarantees for repayment of loans taken out by entrepreneurs to ensure their financial liquidity. These guarantees do not apply to micro and small enterprises. The surety or guarantee does not cover more than 80% of the outstanding loan amount.
Banks have allowed the suspension of loan installments. Individual clients and companies can take advantage of this opportunity. The suspension of installment repayment applies to consumer, business, leasing and mortgage loans. The installment repayment suspension period is a minimum of 3 months.
Commercial and Residential Lease agreements
During the period of the prohibition to conduct business in commercial facilities with an area of over 2000m2, mutual obligations between the parties to the lease agreement, tenancy or other similar agreement, which leads to the commissioning of commercial space – expire. A person who is entitled to use commercial space – should submit to the lessor an unconditional and binding offer to extend the validity of the contract on current terms for the duration of the trade ban extended by six months.
If the duration of the tenancy agreement concluded before March 31, 2020 expires after that date – for residential lease, and before June 30, 2020, the contract shall be extended to June 30, 2020 on the basis of the tenant’s declaration.
Moreover, monetary receivables from the commissioning of real estate for rent, lease or use by local government units falling within the period of an epidemic or epidemic emergency may be written off.
It is possible to submit requests for deferment or payment of taxes and arrears in installments without charging extension fees during the period of epidemic emergency and within 30 days after its cancellation.
For entrepreneurs who bear the negative consequences of COVID-19, the right to deduct the loss incurred in 2020 from operating income obtained in 2019 is provided. The condition is to have revenues lower by at least 50% in 2020 compared to 2019. The reduction is one-off, not more than by PLN 5,000,000.00.
Simplifications are foreseen in the organization of shareholders’ meetings and making their decisions – voting using electronic means of distance communication has been introduced.
Public Procuprement Law
In a situation where it is impossible to perform a public procurement contract, due to circumstances related to the occurrence of COVID-19, the parties to the contract agree to amend this contract accordingly – they may change the date of performance of the contract or part thereof, temporarily suspend performance of the contract or part thereof, change the way the contract is performed or change scope of mutual benefits.