Are there any regulations in place providing an employer with possibility for flexible workforce planning such as part-time work/temporary leave which are triggered in a situation similar to a pandemic outbreak as Covid-19?
If YES on question 1, please describe which type of regulation. Please confirm if and to what extent such leave can be supported by state aid and/or other extra-ordinary governmental support.
Yes, Act from 2 March 2020 concerning special solutions regarding counteraction, prevention and combating COVID-19, other contagious diseases and crisis situations caused by them. The Act was adopted by Polish Sejm and Senat, as well as signed by the President on 7 March 2020. Therefore, it is officially binding.
The Act indicates that in case of closing the nursery, children’s club or school to which the child is attending, due to COVID-19, the employee, being insured, exempted from performing work due to the need to personally take care of the child is allowed to additional care allowance for the period no longer than 14 days.
if YES on question 1, please describe which contacts that may need to be initiated with trade unions and/or works councils. Must a special process be followed?
Yes, No special procedure is described in the act from 2 March 2020.
Are there any governmental programs if a company needs to close totally or partially for a certain time period?
The Polish government has announced the preparation of a special legal act for entrepreneurs who will feel the effects of the coronavirus epidemic (general programme for company). The act for entrepreneurs shall include improvement in the financial liquidity of companies (financial instruments for companies, including guarantee support up to 80% and additional payments to credit interest from a disaster fund) protection and support of the labor market, including solutions for unplanned work stoppage. According to officials the Act should come into force by the end of March 2020
If state aid and/or other extra-ordinary governmental support is available, please describe the necessary prerequisites to qualify for such state aid.
The abovementioned special act has not been passed yet.
However the general conditions for aid include 5 pillars with an estimated value of PLN 212 billion, i.e.:
- Aid for the labor market (protection of employees against job losses):
- deferring Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) payments, spreading ZUS payments into installments
- contractors will be paid up to 80% of the minimum wage
- prolongation of loan installments (pursuant to an agreement with the banking sector)
- micro loans for entrepreneurs up to 5,000 PLN
- liquidity solutions, eg increasing the loan guarantees of entrepreneurs up to 80% of the loan value
- Capital and liquidity package - protection for deposit funds
- Opening of a PLN 30 billion fund for the purpose of strengthening expenditure on local roads, digitization, modernization, energy transformation, environmental protection, reconstruction of state infrastructure and architecture.
If state aid and/or other extra-ordinary governmental support is available, please describe the application procedure for such state aid (e.g. how and when is the application filed with the government etcetera; what shall such application include).
The special act has not been passed yet.
Please note that the COVID-19 scenario is constantly changing and that this information is current as of 27 March 2020. This publication should not be regarded as offering a complete explanation of the legal matters referred to and is subject to changes in the law and other applicable rules.