The government plans to introduce a shielding package for companies

The Ministry of Development is preparing a new special law to limit the negative effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the economy. The shielding package for companies, which includes a number of solutions to ensure the liquidity of companies, would enter into force on 1 April this year. 

Special act – anti-crisis solutions for business

In relation to the coronavirus, the Ministry of Development is preparing a draft bill of special act including a package of anti-crisis solutions for entrepreneurs. The first act on SARS-Cov-2, in force since 8 March, provides for preventing and counteracting the spread of the disease, while the new catalogue of regulations will provide for actions aimed at minimising the effects of the epidemic on the economy and supporting both companies and the labour market.

The Ministry is to present a draft bill of the new act between 16th and 20th March, and the first reading in Sejm will take place on 25th March. The new regulations could therefore enter into force on the 1st of April 2020.

Learn more: Coronavirus – obligations and rights of employer and employee

Special bill – shielding package and legislative changes

The new bill will include a number of legislative changes to enable the implementation of the business shielding package. This package is the result of the discussions with representatives of Polish development institutions and the result of postulates of many Polish industries. The package will introduce the following facilitations for businesses:

Postponements and reliefs

  • the new JPK from 1 July 2020, not from April as planned,
  • the sugar tax at the end of the year,
  • implementation of split payment facilities,
  • Central Register of Beneficiaries – registration obligation from 1 July 2020,
  • VAT refunds at an earlier date,
  • abolition of the pro-long-up fee for the distribution of social security contributions in instalments,
  • suspension of business activities with fewer formalities,
  • costs of cancelled trips included in tax costs (concerns sectors affected by the pandemic),
  • extending the public aid scheme also to large and medium-sized enterprises,

Ensuring financial liquidity of companies

  • possibility to deduct the loss from 2019 -2020 from income within the next five years,
  • taking anti-crisis measures by BGK, including credit subsidies and guarantee support,
  • extending de minimis aid to 80% of the loan amount,
  • extending the disaster fund to epidemics,
  • abolition of fines for contractors and subcontractors for failure to comply with public procurement agreements,

 Support for employees and employers

  • shortening to 3 months the period of admitting support in the event of a 15% drop in economic turnover, sales of goods or services,
  • in the case of downtime at the employer’s, providing employees with additional protection, inter alia, paying remuneration financed from the entrepreneur’s funds in the total amount of at least the minimum remuneration for work. 

Support for entrepreneurs – what solutions are available now? 

The special act minimising the effects of coronavirus is still under development, so it is worthwhile to familiarise oneself with the possibilities of support already available, in case of a crisis situation in the company related, for example, to lack of supplies or absence of the crew.

Entrepreneurs experiencing the effects of a pandemic may currently benefit from a deferral of social security contributions payment (for the time being with a pro-long-up fee) or decide to pay their debts in instalments (also subject to a fee).

Moreover, it is possible to fully redeem ZUS contributions, but only as a result of extraordinary events, in which their payment could seriously threaten the further activity of the business entity.

Support may also be provided to entrepreneurs who, due to the coronavirus, will not be able to settle their tax liabilities on time. According to the Ministry of Finance, the tax offices will consider applications for granting reliefs, including the deferment of the payment deadline, spreading it into instalments, and writing off arrears in emergency situations resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

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