We are happy to share with you an update on the Covid-19 support package that Poland is creating to support entrepeneurs fighting the impact of the corona pandemic. Our guest auhor P. Kamil Rosiak is Attorney-at-Law & Partner Associate at KPMG D.Dobkowski LP in Warsaw.*
On 28 March 2020 the lower house of Polish parliament (Sejm) passed a bill (so called “Anti-Crisis Shield”) which introduces solutions supporting Polish entrepreneurs in connection with the epidemic of coronavirus. The support package is valued by the government at PLN212 billion and consists of five pillars: protecting employment and healthcare, financial system stability, support for business and for public investments.
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The main elements of the support include:
- the possibility to issue by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) sureties and guarantees for repayment of the loans granted to the medium-sized and large enterprises which are destined to assure financial liquidity; such sureties and guarantees may be considered as state aid;
- suspending in some extend the application of public procurement rules, of the Construction Law and of the Sunday Trading Ban;
- the management and supervisory boards of all companies can meet and confer via means of direct communication or vote by written ballot;
- tenants’ obligations resulting from the lease contracts at a shopping malls of an area larger than 2,000 sq. m., have been suspended during the state of epidemic threat or state of epidemic, such tenants will be released from obligation to pay the rent in case if following the end of the epidemic they declare to lease the premises during additional six months;
- the simplified procedures related to limitation, apportionment or redemption of the rent due by the entrepreneurs for the period of the epidemic to the public entities;
- more flexible financing of new technologies in form of the loans and bonuses for new technologies for SMEs (including removal of the limit of PLN 6 million which currently applies to bonuses for new technologies);
- co-financing employee salaries during economic work stoppage or working time reduction applied as result of COVID-19;
- releasing some of the self-employed and of the micro-enterprises from paying social insurance contributions for three months;
- payment of downtown benefits of ca. EUR 440 to the persons on civil law contracts and to the self-employed who meet specific criteria;
- extension of state-financed 14-day benefit for parents of children under eight, whose schools were closed due to the COVID-19 threat;
- possibility to introduce flexible working time, suspension of an obligation for employees to undergo periodic medical checks;
- automatic extension of work permits and of the legal period of stay of foreigners;
- extension of deadlines for introducing registration with the Central Register of Beneficiaries as well as for filing some reports required by certain acts of law;
The details of the support measures likely will be subject to changes by the upper house of parliament (Senate). Its debates started today and will finish probably tomorrow to be sent back to the Sejm for the final approval.
Stay tuned for further updates and reports from other countries!
* A version of this report will be published in a future issue of the European State Aid Law Quarterly.