Anti-crisis shield: cancellation of contributions, care allowance, loan to a micro-entrepreneur
We continue a series of articles devoted to the subject of solutions resulting from the so-called Anti-crisis Shield. We will discuss issues related to care allowance, rules for granting loans to micro-enterprises and grounds for exemption from the obligation to pay ZUS contributions, taking into account the premises of the act of 16.04.2020 on specific support instruments in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
ADDITIONAL CARE BENEFIT: FOR WHOM AND ON WHAT PRINCIPLES?
According to Article 4 of the act of 31.03.2020 on the amendment to the act on special solutions related to the prevention, counteracting and combating COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them, as well as certain other acts (“Act”), an additional care allowance for a period not longer than 14 days is due for:
- In the event of the closing of a nursery, children’s club, kindergarten, school or other facility which the child attends, or the inability to provide care by a nanny or day carer due to COVID-19, the insured who is released from work because of the need to personally take care of the child up to the age of 8, as well as a child with a certificate of significant or moderate disability up to the age of 18 or a child with a certificate of disability or a certificate of need for special education;
- In the event of the closing of a school, revalidation center, support center, occupational therapy workshop or other day care center of a similar nature due to COVID-19, which is attended by an adult disabled person, the insured who is released from work due to the need for personal care over an adult disabled person.
It should be noted here that the period of payment of additional care allowance is not included in the general limit of 60 days that is jointly due for care for children and other family members pursuant to Article 33 of the act of 25 June 1999 on cash benefits from social insurance in the event of sickness and maternity.
FOR HOW LONG AND AT WHAT AMOUNT?
The monthly care allowance is 80% of the allowance basis. For those insured in KRUS, care allowance for each day is 1/30 of the basic pension in accordance with Article 6 point 7 of the act of 20 December 1990 on social insurance for farmers. The period of additional care allowance was extended to 26 April 2020.
WHERE TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION?
An application for additional care allowance should be submitted to your contribution payer, e.g. employer, principal. Persons who have submitted a declaration for the payment of an allowance before adopting the new regulations do not have to submit it again; they will automatically receive an allowance for a further period.
CAN BOTH PARENTS BE BENEFICIARIES?
Generally, according to the act on cash benefits from social insurance in the event of sickness and maternity, an allowance of an additional 14 days is granted to both parents in total, regardless of the number of children who require care. If both parents of the child work, one parent may apply for additional childcare allowance. They can also share childcare within the 14-day limit.
LOAN FOR MICRO-ENTERPRENEURS
WHO CAN GRANT IT AND ON WHAT TERMS?
Starosta may, on the basis of a contract, grant a one-time loan from the Labor Fund to cover the running costs of running a micro-enterpreneur who, at least in one of the last 2 financial years:
- employed on average less than 10 employees on an annual basis, and
- achieved annual net turnover from the sale of goods, products and services and from financial operations not exceeding the PLN equivalent of EUR 2 million or the sum of whose assets under the balance sheet prepared at the end of one of these years did not exceed the equivalent of PLN 2 million,
- micro-entrepreneurs who do not employ and have never employed employees can also apply.
WHAT IS THE AMOUNT AND FOR WHAT IT CAN BE ALLOCATED?
The loan amount is 5,000 zł and it is granted once. The interest rate is fixed at 0.05% of the rediscount rate adopted by the National Bank of Poland on an annual basis. The loan repayment begins after a three-month grace period, with the repayment period not exceeding 12 months. The loan may be pre-allocated for, among others, covering the current costs of doing business, paying taxes, renting costs, etc.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CANCEL THE LOAN?
Yes. The loan along with interest at the request of the micro-entrepreneur is subject to cancellation, provided that the micro-entrepreneur will conduct business activity for a period of 3 months from the date of granting the loan. The borrower is obliged to submit a declaration on conducting business activity for a period of 3 months from the date of the loan. The declaration is made on pain of criminal liability for making false statements. If this condition is not met, he shall be obliged to repay the loan, which takes place in accordance with the schedule set by the PUP.
WHERE TO APPLY AND HOW LONG WILL THE PROCESSING TAKE?
The micro-entrepreneur submits the loan application to the powiat labor office competent for the place of business activity, after the call by the director of the powiat labor office is announced. The application can be submitted both on paper and via the praca.gov.pl system. In addition, helplines to answer questions related to granting loans were launched in PUP websites.
Funds will be immediately transferred in a one-time instalment to the given account number, up to two business days after signing the agreement. Submission of an electronic application with a qualified electronic signature or trusted signature significantly accelerates the receipt of the loan.
Legal basis: Article 15 zzd ff. of the act of 31.03.2020 on the amendment to the act on special solutions related to the prevention, countering and combating COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them, and certain other acts in connection with from point 40 of the act of 16.04.2020 on specific support instruments in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The exercise of this right does not exclude the right to other benefits provided for by the act. The cessation of business activity does not have consequences in relation to the obligation to immediately return the loan in full if the installments are repaid.
EXEMPTION FROM THE OBLIGATION TO PAY ZUS CONTRIBUTIONS FOR MARCH 2020 – MAY 2020
TO WHOM DOES THE EXEMPTION APPLY AND WHAT CONDITIONS MUST BE FULFILLED?
Exemption from full payment applies to:
- persons who carry out non-agricultural activities before 1 April 2020 and pay contributions only for their own insurance;
- social cooperatives registered before 1 April 2020 as a contribution payer in ZUS;
- contribution payers, if registered:
- who registered less than 10 insured persons for insurance before 1 February 2020 and as at 29 February 2020,
- who registered less than 10 insured persons for insurance from 1 February 2020 to 29 February 2020 and as at 31 March 2020,
- who registered less than 10 insured persons for insurance from 1 March 2020 to 31 March 2020 and as at 30 April 2020.
Exemption from the payment of contributions at 50% of the total amount due from contributions shown in the settlement declaration submitted for a given month is due to:
1. contribution payers who were registered:
- who registered less than 50 insured persons for insurance before 1 February 2020 and as at 29 February 2020,
- who registered less than 50 insured persons for insurance from 1 February to 29 February and as at 31 March 2020,
- who registered less than 50 insured persons for insurance from 1 March to 31 March and as at 30 April 2020.
Adolescent employees are not included in the total number of insured persons. At this point, I would like to remind you that an adolescent employee is a person who is at least 16 years old and under 18 years.
To take advantage of the support, additional conditions must be met:
- operating income in the first month for which the application is submitted does not exceed 15,681 zł, i.e. 300% of the forecast average gross salary for 2020;
- the application must be submitted by 30 June 2020;
- settlement declarations or personal monthly reports should be submitted, unless you are exempted from filing in accordance with these laws.
Legal basis: Article 31 z ff of the act of 31.03.2020 on the amendment to the act on special solutions related to the prevention, countering and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them, and certain other acts read with point 65 of the act of 16.04.2020 on specific support instruments in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
CAN I REQUEST A REFUND IF THE CONTRIBUTION IS PAID FOR ANY OF THE (MARCH – MAY 2020) MONTHS?
The rule is that the exemption applies only to unpaid contributions. The exception applies to contributions paid for March 2020. In this case, you can apply to ZUS for the payment of overpaid funds (overpayment for March) at the latest before the time limit for paying contributions for April. However, for April and May, only contributions not yet paid are exempt.
WHO IS NOT SUBJECT TO EXEMPTION?
The exemption does not apply to:
- companies that were in a difficult situation in December 2019 and did not pay their debts, including premiums collected by ZUS;
- payers under the “Ulga na start” programme.
WHERE TO APPLY?
The application for the exemption from the obligation to pay the contributions should be submitted to the relevant ZUS branch by 30 June 2020. The application may be submitted in paper form sent by mail or by email, PUE ZUS, via the gov.pl website. The documents may be lodged in person in a special box at the ZUS office.
HOW LONG WILL THE PROCESSING TAKE AND CAN I APPEAL?
Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych issues a decision within not more than 30 days from the date of sending the settlement declaration or personal monthly report due for the last month stated in the application.
A refusal may be appealed against by the letter submitted to the President of ZUS requesting re-examination of the case within 14 days of the decision being served.
RELIEF IN PAYMENT OF CONTRIBUTIONS
Each payer of social security or health insurance contributions, irrespective of the period of conducting business activity, may submit a request for deferment of payment or an installment payment schedule before the time limit of payment of contributions, as well as an application for waiving late payment interest. The relief applies to contributions and interest on amounts due from January 2020.
Legal status as at 23.04.2020.
We encourage regular checking our site for changes.
1. Act of 31.03.2020 on amending the act on special solutions related to the prevention, counteracting and combating of COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them, as well as some other acts.
2. Act of 25 June 1999 on cash benefits from social insurance in the event of sickness and maternity.
3. Act of 16.04.2020 on specific support instruments in connection with the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
4. Website: zus.pl
5. Website: https://psz.praca.gov.pl/dla-pracodawcow-i-przedsiebiorcow/tarcza/pozyczka
Author: Trainee Attorney-at-Law Hanna Baszyńska
Editorial Supervision: Attorney-at-Law Paweł Tokarski