Anti-Crisis Shield 2.0.
From 18 April 2020 the Act on special supporting measures in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is in force, generally known as Anti-Crisis Shield 2.0. This Act introduces many changes to the measures known from the previous version of the Anti-Crisis Shield. Please find below the most significant of them from the point of view of the employers.
Co-financing of employees’ salaries from the guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund (pol. FGŚP) (Art. 15g):
- The group of entities entitled to apply for co-financing was extended to non-governmental organizations and state legal persons;
- It has been clarified that the reduction of working time will be possible by up to 20%, and not only by fixed 20%;
- It has been clarified that financial aid is available from the month in which the application was submitted, and not from the date of its submission; In our opinion, however, the earliest date from which you can apply for financial aid further is the day on which all the prerequisites provided for in art. 15g are fulfilled;
- The period has been shortened, in which the termination of the employment contract of an employee covered by the financial aid, for reasons not related to this employee, would result in the employer’s obligation to return the financial aid along with due interests. Currently, this period encompasses only the period of benefitting from the financial aid.
Co-financing of employees’ salaries by the district governor (pol. starosta) (Art. 15zzb)
- It has been clarified that the financial aid is available from the month in which the relevant application has been submitted, and not from the date of its submission;
- The period has been shortened, in which the employer is obliged to continue the employment relationship with employees whom he has received financial aid for. Currently, the said period encompasses only the period for which the financial aid has been granted;
Exemption from payment of ZUS contributions (Art. 31zo):
- The right to benefit from the exemption from paying ZUS contributions has been extended. A 50% exemption will also be available for employers reporting to social insurance between 10 and 49 persons.
- The conditions for benefitting from the exemption from the payment of ZUS contributions for given months have been clarified:
- For the exemption from the contributions due for March 2020: registration as contributions payer prior to 1 February 2020 and reporting relevant number of persons to social insurance as of 29 February 2020;
- For the exemption from the contributions due for April 2020: registration as contributions payer between 1 February 2020 and 29 February 2020 and reporting relevant number of persons to social insurance as of 31 March 2020;
- For the exemption from the contributions due for May 2020: registration as contributions payer between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2020 and reporting relevant number of persons to social insurance as of 30 April 2020.
- It has been made possible to encompass with abovementioned exemption the social security contributions due for March 2020, even if they have been already paid previously.
Extraordinary measures connected with organization of working time – ensuring the continuity of business operations (Art. 15zx)
Some employers (i.a. operating in the area of critical infrastructure, provision of banking services, fuel stations, production or delivery of food etc.) have been entitled to:
- oblige employees to be on call regardless of rest time periods;
- issue an order to the employee to take the due rest time at a place indicated by the employer.
Standstill allowance (Art. 15zr and Art. 15zua)
- The number of possible payments of the standstill allowances has been increased from one to three;
- There will be no requirement to submit a separate application to obtain the second and third payment, but merely a declaration that the applicant’s financial situation has not improved;
Health nad Safety Trainings:
- During the announced state of an epidemic or state of an epidemic threat, it has been allowed to conduct initial health and safety training in full by means of electronic communication. However, the above does not apply to on-the-job trainings in workers’ positions (blue collars), working positions exposed to hazardous factors, employees transferred to the above positions and apprentices.
- The deadlines for conducting periodic health and safety trainings, which fall during the state of an epidemic or state of an epidemic threat, have been extended.