The Polish government is to launch a package of measures protecting businesses and employees against COVID-19

Key local contact: Slawomir Szepietowski

The Polish government is to launch a PLN 212 bn (EUR 47 bn (almost 10% of the Polish GDP) package of measures protecting businesses and employees against the adverse effects of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package – as for now still being a draft Bill – consists of 5 main pillars including different areas of the economy. The number of particular measures equals to 60 and is still under discussion and development.

Pillar I – "Entrepreneurs"

This will focus directly on supporting the enterprise sector through such activities as:

  1. Exemption of all self-employed people and micro-companies from ZUS (social security) contributions for three months provided that their revenues have dropped by more than 50 percent compared to February 2020;

  2. Deferral of the payment of social security contributions or distribution in instalments without additional charges;

  3. Loan guarantees, liquidity support and micro-loans up to PLN 5,000 (EUR 1100);

  4. No penalties for delays in public tenders;

  5. Extension of bank working capital loans;

  6. Settlement of this year's loss next year.

Pillar II – "Employees"

The package is supposed to consist, among others things, of:

  1. Co-financing of 40% of employees' salaries at companies that have seen their turnover drop as a result of the pandemic;

  2. People employed on commission and specific-task contracts as well as self-employed people would be able to get up to 80 percent of Poland's minimum wage; the current minimum wage level is PLN 2,600 (EUR 577) before tax and social insurance contribution.

  3. "credit vacation";

  4. "vacation from administrative duties";

Pillar III – “Healthcare”
Approximately PLN 7.5 bn (EUR 1.7) will be allocated, in particular for the infrastructure of infectious diseases hospitals and medical equipment.

Pillar IV – "Polish financial system"
The government will allocate more than PLN 70 billion (EUR 15.5 bn) for this purpose. This part is to include:

  1. Liquid funds;

  2. The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) and Ministry of Finance regulatory package;

  3. National Bank of Poland (NBP) liquidity package.

Pillar V – "Investments"
The government will set up an investment fund worth at least PLN 30bn (EUR 6.66 bn), independent from EU funds. The money will be used for public investments, including local roads, digitization, modernization of schools and energy transition.

Spain declared a state of alarm on 14 March 2020, which is supposed to last for 15 days.

As a consequence of that, the Spanish Government has announced extraordinary measures and ruled some Royal Decrees, the most relevant are Royal Decree 463/2020 and Royal Decree Law 8/2020.

Overview of measures

  • Measures to strengthen the health system;

  • Support measures for families and vulnerable groups;

  • Measures to the business sector to guarantee solvency and stability of companies;

  • Measures to make the economy more flexible, preserve employment and support workers.

In this regard, the most relevant economic measures adopted by the Government are:

  • Facilities and flexibility to request the deferment in the payment of taxes;

  • 400 million Euro finance line given by Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) to help companies´ solvency and self-employees;

  • 100 billion Euro guarantee plan by ICO to help companies and self-employees to obtain loans and finance;

  • Regarding mortgage loans, one month grace period for vulnerable groups and families; and

  • The Government is empowered to supervise and control the relevant acquisition of companies belonging to strategic sectors.

Suspension of the following in respect of Court proceedings generally:

  • Procedural judicial and administrative terms;

  • Any limitation period before filing a claim;

  • Judicial proceedings which are not considered urgent;

  • The submission of any writ which is not considered urgent.

Courts are closed except for urgent cases such as criminal cases with arrested people, under age cases, interim reliefs regarding disabled people, etc.

In the agreements adopted by the Board of Judges there is no provision regarding civil and commercial proceedings. Thus, civil and commercial cases are not considered urgent.
These suspension periods will last until the state of alarm is over.
Measures in respect of insolvency proceedings

  • The most relevant measure is a two month grace period for the debtor to submit an insolvency petition to the court from the moment in which the state of alarm finishes. There will be no liability when the debtor had the obligation to apply for the insolvency statement but he did not.

  • Debtors´ voluntary insolvency application will have preferential processing over creditors´ insolvency requests that will be stopped until two months after the state of alarm is over.

Source: https://www.twobirds.com/en/news/articles/2020/global/covid-19-international-r-and-i-briefing#PL