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Factsheet for measure PL-2020-14/664 Updated – measures in Poland

Measures supporting solo self-employed and freelancers

Tarcza antykryzysowa: wsparcie dla samozatrudnionych niezatrudniających pracowników i zleceniobiorców

Country Poland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 April 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Extensions of income support to workers not covered by any kind of protection scheme
Author Jan Czarzasty (Warsaw School of Economics) and Eurofound
Measure added 16 April 2020 (updated 16 August 2021)

Background information

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemics the government proposed the legislative package of measures intended to counter-act the direct economic effects of the public health crisis. The package, commonly referred to as the Anti-crisis Shield, consist of three legislative acts which all came into force on 1 April.

Of the three acts, the Act amending the Act on Special Measures regrading Prevention, Counteraction and Combating COVID-19 Other Contagious Diseases and Crisis Situations Related and Some Other act of Law is the key piece of legislation regarding the unfolding economic crisis. The Act (abbreviated as the “Special Act”) is a follow-up to the initial ad-hoc regulation introduced in early March.

Ustawa z dnia 31 marca 2020 r. o zmianie ustawy o szczególnych rozwiązaniach związanych z zapobieganiem, przeciwdziałaniem i zwalczaniem COVID-19, innych chorób zakaźnych oraz wywołanych nimi sytuacji kryzysowych oraz niektórych innych ustaw.

Content of measure

In the area of income support for people performing work on basis other than employment the Special Act offers i.a. financial support. The aid is available for self-employed and freelancers (holders of contracts for performing specific tasks or umowa o dzieło, in Polish). The aid is on request, there are some limitations (those whose monthly revenue in the preceding month exceeded the average pay multiplied by three are not eligible for the aid).

Originally, the measure targeted self-employed and freelancers who could request the public aid to cover their income lost as a result of halting operations in the amount of 80% of the national minimum wage. In case of freelancers with the reported income below 50% minimum wage, they could request the amount of all their income. Self-employed paying taxes on the basis of a tax card (simplified form of a corporate income tax) could claim an allowance in a lump sum of PLN 1,300 (€290). In all cases the allowance had a form of a one-time payment. In all cases the aid was not available to those whose monthly revenue in the preceding month exceeded the average pay multiplied by three.

The Anti-crisis Shield 2.0 (April) revised the rules, so that the condition of monthly revenue in the preceding month not exceeding the average pay multiplied by three was removed; the allowance became available on multiple times (up to three), provided it could only be claimed once a month; there was a condition of “material situation having not improved” for re-claiming the allowance introduced. The Anti-crisis Shield 3.0 (May) expanded eligibility to entities meeting other requirements who had commenced their activities before 1 April (originally: 1 February). Under the Anti-crisis Shield 5.0 (September) the circle of recipients is limited now to entities whose area of activities (according to their NACE) include tourism, stage performance and exhibition.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

12 August 2021

From 1 February 2021, self-employed may request the one-time allowance of PLN 1,300 (€290) once again.

17 September 2020

The "Anti-Crisis Shield" is a set of legislative acts establishing special measures to counteract the effects of COVID-19 on social and economic issues. Up to date (October 2020), five acts have been enacted, four of which (Anti-Crisis Shield 1.0 to 3.0 and 5.0, the order is reflected in the Sources section) are discussed in this entry. Anti-Crisis Shield 4.0 has been omitted as its focus is not on employment protection or wages.

Use of measure

Social Security Institution (ZUS) informed that until early September some PLN 5 billion (about €1.1 billion) was spent for roughly 2.5 million recipients.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Solo-self-employed
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

None.

Views and reactions

Information provided to Social Dialogue Council, yet no consultations carried.

Sources

  • 01 April 2020: The Act of 31 March 2020 amending the Act on Special Measures regarding Prevention, Counteraction and Combating COVID-19 Other Contagious Diseases and Crisis Situations Related (Ustawa z dnia 31 marca 2020 r. o zmianie ustawy o szczególnych rozwiązaniach związanych z zapobieganiem, przeciwdziałaniem i zwalczaniem COVID-19, innych chorób zakaźnych oraz wywołanych nimi sytuacji kryzysowych oraz niektórych innych ustaw (dziennikustaw.gov.pl)
  • 16 April 2020: The Act of 16 April 2020 on Special Support Measures Related to Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Virus (Ustawa z dnia 16 kwietnia 2020 r. o szczególnych instrumentach wsparcia w związku z rozprzestrzenianiem się wirusa SARS-CoV-2) (dziennikustaw.gov.pl)
  • 14 May 2020: The Act of 14 May 2020 amending Some Acts of Law with regard to Prevention Measures Related to Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Virus (Ustawa z dnia 14 maja 2020 r. o zmianie niektórych ustaw w zakresie działań osłonowych w związku z rozprzestrzenianiem się wirusa SARS-CoV-2) (dziennikustaw.gov.pl)
  • 17 September 2020: The Act of 17 September 2020 amending the Act on Special Measures regarding Prevention, Counteraction and Combating COVID-19 and Other Contagious Diseases and Crisis Situations Related and Some Other Acts of Law (Ustawa z dnia 17 września 2020 r. o zmianie ustawy o szczególnych rozwiązaniach związanych z zapobieganiem, przeciwdziałaniem i zwalczaniem COVID-19, innych chorób zakaźnych oraz wywołanych nimi sytuacji kryzysowych oraz niektórych innych ustaw), (dziennikustaw.gov.pl)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Measures supporting solo self-employed and freelancers, measure PL-2020-14/664 (measures in Poland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/PL-2020-14_664.html

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.