Amendment to the Anti-Crisis Shield

The "Anti-Crisis Shield" is a package of solutions that is designed to help Polish entrepreneurs and their employees in the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The provisions included in the Anti-Crisis Shield have been in force since March 31, 2020 and have now been amended. On April 18, 2020, the Act of April 16, 2020 on special support instruments in connection with the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus entered into force, Journal of Laws 2020 item 695 (hereinafter: SARS-CoV-2 Act), which provides for further forms of support primarily for entrepreneurs, employees and farmers. Below we present selected amendments introduced by the SARS-CoV-2 Act.

Exemption from ZUS contributions

- the group of entities authorized to use this form of assistance was expanded to include entrepreneurs who applied to ZUS as contribution payers in the period from February 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020,- payers reporting between 10 and 49 insured may be released from the obligation to pay unpaid debts for social security contributions, health insurance, the Labor Fund, the Solidarity Fund, the Guaranteed Employee Benefits Fund or the Bridging Pensions Fund, due for the period from March 1 2020 until 31 May 2020, in the amount of 50% of the total amount due from contributions shown in the settlement declaration submitted for a given month.

Amendment of the "compensation for downtime”

- it is possible to apply for the compensation up to three times,

- the condition regarding the amount of income for persons conducting non-agricultural economic activity was lifted,

- a person who suspended non-agricultural business activity after January 31, 2020, as well as a person employed under a civil law contract concluded before April 1, 2020 may apply for the compensation for downtime.

The microloan in the amount of 5.000,00 PLN

- the loan application should be submitted to the district labour office competent for the place of business activity, after the recruitment by the director of the district labour office has been announced,

- the loan with interest is subject to redemption, provided that the micro-entrepreneur will run a business for a period of 3 months from the date of its granting and submits the application for its redemption within a deadline together with a statement on running a business for a period of 3 months from the date of granting the loan.

Financial support for quarantined farmers

- in the event of compulsory quarantine, epidemiological supervision or hospitalization, farmers and household members working with them will receive an allowance of 50% of the minimum wage.

Extension of job protection benefits to non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

- NGOs, public benefit and voluntary organizations with a decrease in economic turnover due to COVID-19 will be able to benefit from the same forms of support for job protection as other enterprises.

Unlimited internet access

- the subscriber's use of the websites of public finance sector units and pages specified in the list kept by the minister competent for computerization (in particular GOV.PL and online medical services) does not affect the use of the data transmission limit under the selected package, unless the subscriber stays outside the country and uses these sites as part of an international roaming service,

- the launch of the Broadband Fund was accelerated, thanks to which citizens will have access to basic social e-services,

- the development of the National Education Network has been accelerated.

Help from Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu S.A.

- support may be granted to entrepreneurs conducting business activity on the territory of Poland, if their continuation of economic activity is threatened as a result of economic consequences resulting from bans and restrictions introduced to prevent, counteract and combat SARS-CoV-2 infection and the spread of disease caused by this virus (COVID-19),

- the list of available support products is published on the website of Agencja Rozwoju Przemysłu S.A.,

- the procedure for obtaining repayable financial support in the form of loans, guarantees, warranties, leasing and other repayable financial debt instruments was simplified and accelerated,

- the entrepreneur's application for support is considered immediately, not later than within 14 days from the date of its submission together with attachments, however the extension of the above period has been reserved due to the number of applications submitted.

Hybrid postal package

- until 30 September 2020, Poczta Polska offers the so-called hybrid postal package, i.e. registered parcel delivered by electronic means of communication,

- the service applies to registered items, registered items with acknowledgement of receipt and electronic confirmation of receipt,

- Poczta Polska will make an electronic copy (scan) of the parcel and then deliver it to the recipient's electronic inbox,

- the date of delivery is the day when the recipient got acquainted with the document on the recipient's electronic inbox,

- in the absence of receipt of correspondence, delivery shall be deemed effective after 14 days from placing the electronic document on the inbox (introducing the "delivery fiction"),- the designated operator sends to the electronic address indicated by the addressee a notification containing information that an electronic document has been delivered to the recipient's electronic mailbox,

- digital mappings created as part of the hybrid postal package have the same power as the paper documents from which they were made,

- provisions regarding the so-called "hybrid postal package" does not apply to shipments sent to or sent by: courts and tribunals; the prosecutor's office and other law enforcement agencies and court enforcement officers.

Commercial law

- in the SARS-CoV-2 Act, investment fund participants were allowed to participate in the meeting of participants using electronic means of communication, unless the fund statute provides otherwise; about participation in the meeting of participants in this way, it is decided by the person convening that meeting,

- participation in the meeting of participants using electronic means of communication can only be subject to requirements and restrictions that are necessary to identify participants and ensure the security of electronic communication,

- the SARS-CoV-2 Act introduces also the possibility of participating in a meeting of the council of investors and a meeting of investors using electronic means of communication, unless the fund statute provides otherwise,

- the possibility of adopting resolutions by cooperative assemblies as well as remote voting of the association's authorities have been introduced,

- the supervisory board in capital companies (in a limited liability company and in a joint-stock company) may, from the date of entry into force of the SARS-Cov-2 Act, adopt resolutions in writing or by using means of direct remote communication also in matters for which the contract companies or the articles of association provide for secret voting, provided that no member of the supervisory board objects,

- subscription for shares in electronic form requires completing the form made available in the ICT system and providing a qualified electronic signature, trusted signature or personal signature.

Bankruptcy law

the deadline for filing for bankruptcy of the debtor does not start running or is interrupted by law if:

a) the basis for submitting the application arose during the epidemic or the state of epidemiological threat,

b) the state of insolvency arose because of COVID-19,

- if the insolvency condition arose during the period of the epidemic or the state of epidemiological threat, it is presumed that it arose because of COVID-19,

- the deadlines for which the day of filing for bankruptcy is relevant are extended by the number of days between the date of filing for bankruptcy and the last day on which the bankruptcy petition should be filed, not taking into account the special provisions related to COVID- 19.