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Poland: Amendments to salary subsidy relief (COVID-19)

Poland: Amendments to salary subsidy relief (COVID-19)

A bill—known in English as “Subsidization of Interest on Bank Loans to Support Liquidity of Entities Affected by COVID-19 and Amending Certain Other Acts”—would provide economic and tax relief in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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The bill (also referred to as the “Draft Shield 4.0") would extend measures enacted in early March 2020, and is pending parliamentary consideration.

The following provides a brief review of measures in the bill related to the salary subsidy relief scheme. 

Clarification of the definition of “decline in economic turnover”

The Draft Shield 4.0 clarifies the method of calculating a decline in economic turnover for the purposes of applying for employee salary subsidies. The Draft Shield 4.0 provides that the decline in economic turnover may be calculated starting from 1 January 2020, that would make it easier for entities to conduct comparative analyses between individual periods.

Decrease of salaries even by 50%

The Draft Shield 4.0 offers a range of new measures enabling employers to reduce their employees' working hours and, consequently, salaries. Importantly, such measures may be taken only with the employee's consent.

Subsidy granted without reduced working hours

Business owners may apply for subsidies from the guaranteed employee benefits fund to cover salaries of employees affected by economic downturn or reduced working hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The requirement for the subsidy is a reduction of working time by a maximum of 20% but no more than to half-time, subject to previous agreements with trade union or duly appointed representatives of employees. A proposal included in the Draft Shield 4.0 would allow for a subsidy grant without the need to cover employees with reduced working time or downtime (the period of non-performance of duties).

Exclusion of monthly statements

Under the currently applicable provisions, the subsidies provided to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) based on an agreement concluded with the district governor are paid monthly, after the business owner submits a statement of employment in a given month and the cost of salary of each employee plus the social security contributions due, as of the last day of the month for which the subsidy is paid. The bill provides to repeal the requirement for the monthly statements. Under the draft provisions, the subsidy would be paid out based on the information about employment and salaries submitted in the first statement filed along with the application for the subsidy.

Read a May 2020 report [PDF 269 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Poland

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