Entrepreneurs can apply for additional funding of employees salaries by the government on the basis of changes in legislation called the "anti-crisis shield", the purpose of which is to counteract the negative economic consequences caused by the coronavirus pandemic. An entrepreneur can apply for funding in connection with downtime or reduction of working hours to the Voivodeship Labor Office or for funding of the part of the salary to the District Labor Office. In this article, we will explain in detail what conditions must be met in order for an application for such funding to be examined and approved.
The main criteria for obtaining financing are the company turnover, the absence of debts in the tax administration and the social insurance fund (ZUS), as well as the absence of prerequisites for bankruptcy. In order to get funding, entrepreneur must meet the requirements for all 3 criteria listed above. The term of the proposed financing is 3 months from the date of application.
If the company turnover decreases, the entrepreneur can declare a downtime for economic reasons or reduce working hours for employees, and then apply for subsidy to protect jobs in the firm. Subsidy can be obtained by an entrepreneur who is an individual or legal entity. Also, an organizational unit does not constitute a legal person, but to which legal capacity is assigned by a distinct law, carrying out economic activities, may receive additional funding. At the same time, the entrepreneur cannot be in arrears in tax obligations, social insurance, medical insurance, the Guaranteed Payments Fund, the Labour Fund or the Solidarity Fund until the end of the third quarter of 2019, subject to the possibility of concluding an agreement with ZUS on debt repayment. Also there can be no reason to declare bankruptcy of a company earlier.
In order to fulfill the conditions for obtaining subsidy by entrepreneur, the income of the company should be affected by factors that are caused by the status of epidemic threat. For such subsidy, due to a decrease in the company's turnover, the turnover of goods or services expressed in terms of value or quantity should decrease by at least 15%. This decrease is calculated as the ratio of the company's total turnover for any two consecutive calendar months in the period after January 1, 2020, to the day preceding the day of filing the application, to the total similar period for 2 consecutive calendar months of the previous year. If the analyzed period does not coincide with the beginning and end of a calendar month, the month is considered to be 30 consecutive calendar days. If the entrepreneur analyzes one month instead of two consecutive months, the turnover should decrease by at least 25%.
During economic downtime, the entrepreneur is entitled to pay the employee a salary reduced by no more than 50%, but not less than the minimum remuneration, taking into account the possible established part-time work. It is also possible to reduce working hours by 20%, but not less than for ½ of the rate, and to reduce wages proportionally, which should also not be lower than the minimum remuneration for work, taking into account the established part-time work.
To implement the above actions, the employer is obliged to sign the agreement, which will include the group of employees affected by economic downtime or reduced working hours, conditions, working hours and period implemented changes. Such an agreement is concluded between the employer and the organization representing the employees of this company, but if there are no such organization - with the employee representative appointed earlier by the employees of the company. The employer must send a copy of the agreement to the regional labor office within 5 working days from the date of its conclusion.
The amount of financial assistance towards payment of salaries of employees affected by downtime is 50% of the minimum remuneration. However, the funding does not apply to employees whose remuneration received in the month preceding the month of filing the application exceeded 300% of the average salary for the previous quarter, the amount of which was announced by the Director of the Main Department of Statistics on the day of filing the application by the entrepreneur. For example, the average wage in the national economy for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 5198.58 zlotys gross.
In the case of an employee whose working hours have been reduced by 20%, the employer can receive funding up to half of the amount paid, but no more than 40% of the average monthly salary for the previous quarter, the amount of which was announced by the Director of the General Department of Statistics on the day of submitting the application by the entrepreneur. The funding also does not apply to employees whose remuneration in the month preceding the filing of the application exceeded 300% of the average announced by the Director of the Main Department of Statistics.
The entrepreneur must attach to the application submitted to the Director of the Voivodeship labour office a copy of the agreement between the employer and an organization representing the employees or employee representative, and in case of arrears - also a copy of the agreement concluded with ZUS, or a copy of the decision of the tax authority on the issue of debt repayment. In addition, the application is attached to both the contract for the payment of benefits for the protection of jobs, concluded between the Voivodeship labor Department and the entrepreneur, and the list of employees entitled to subsidy.
The anti-Crisis shield also provides for the possibility of financing part of the expenses for paying salaries to employees on the basis of a contract concluded between the district Governor and the entrepreneur. In this case, the application is submitted to the Poviat Labour Office. It is worth noting that an entrepreneur cannot receive this funding if the expenses indicated by the entrepreneur were or will be funded from other public funds in the framework of other programs.
Co-financing on the basis of an application to the Poviat Labour Office is applied under the same conditions as for an application to the Voivodeship Labour Office, but the indicator of decreased turnover must be at least 30%, and the amount of funding depends on the amount of decrease in the company's turnover. There are 3 turnover reduction thresholds: more than 30%, more than 50%, and more than 80%. If the turnover decreases by:
- At least 30% - financing may be provided in an amount not exceeding of 50% of the salary of each of the employees to whom the application for co-financing applies, including social insurance contributions, but not more than 50% of the minimum remuneration for work, increased due to social insurance contributions for each employee;
- At least 50% - co-financing may be provided in an amount not exceeding of 70% of the salary of each of the employees for whom the co-financing application was submitted, with contributions to the social insurance system due for these employees, but not more than 70% of the minimum amount of wages increased by contributions to social insurance contributions for each employee;
- At least 80% - co-financing may be provided in an amount not exceeding the amount of 90% of the salary of each employees for whom the co-financing application was submitted, increased by contributions to the social insurance system due for these employees, but no more than 90% of the minimum amount of remuneration increased by contributions to social insurance contributions for each employee.
The entrepreneur submits an application for funding to the territorially responsible District Poviat Labour Office within 14 days from the call for proposals.