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Factsheet for measure PL-2021-18/1978 Updated – measures in Poland

Financial Shield 1.0 for microfirms and SMEs - some subsidies to be returned

Tarcza Finansowa dla mikrofirm i MSP - część subwencji do zwrotu

Country Poland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 29 April 2021 – 15 September 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial) or damage compensation
Author Jan Czarzasty (Warsaw School of Economics)
Measure added 20 July 2021 (updated 10 July 2023)

Background information

Since late April 2021, the Polish Development Fund (PFR) responsible for the Financial Shields scheme has notified recipients of how much of the subsidies granted will be redeemed. Each case is reviewed on individual basis. PFR may request the subsidy to be returned in part of fully, if the conditions set out for various-sized companies are not met. The process of returning the subsidies commenced on 25 July 2021.

Content of measure

In general, subsidies cannot be fully redeemed. At least 25% of the subsidy must be returned. There are specific conditions envisaged for companies of various size for having the subsidies redeemed. For micro companies, these are as follows:

  • keeping the company alive (25% of the subsidy is redeemed) and
  • keeping average employment (up to 50% of the subsidy is redeemed).

Both conditions must be fulfilled within 12 months of receiving support.

For SMEs, apart from keeping the company alive, all the employment must be retained, and there must also be a loss exceeding 25% of the amount of the subsidy recorded and reported.


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

04 June 2023

Microfirms are required to return the unredeemed portion of the financial subsidy by 15 September 2022.

06 December 2021

In early December the PFR announced it had entered into agreements with three debt collection companies on the basis of which they would undertake tasks of handling claims made to recipients of aid by the PFR.

Use of measure

According to information released by the PFR, as of early June 2021 about 7,000 decisions requesting return of subsidies were made. Furthermore, PFR sent letters with the proposed amount of subsidies to be redeemed to 253,000 firms, which received support under the Financial Shield 1.0. Nearly 150,000 recipients responded, and most of them agreed with the respective proposals made by the PFR.

On August 2021, the PFR claimed it had reclaimed about PLN 1 billion of subsidies recognised as wrongfully granted.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
One person or microenterprises
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Public support service providers
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


Social partners are not involved, as the whole process is governed by the legal regulation and provisions of respective agreements upon which subsidies have been granted.

Views and reactions

No views on the process of returning subsidies are known.


  • 11 August 2020: PFR odzyskał już ponad miliard złotych niesłusznie przyznanych z tarczy (
  • 13 April 2021: How to setle a financial subsidy received from the PFR 1.0 Financial Shield? (
  • 02 June 2021: Return of subsidies from the PFR Financial Shield. Seven thousand decisions already taken (


Eurofound (2021), Financial Shield 1.0 for microfirms and SMEs - some subsidies to be returned, measure PL-2021-18/1978 (measures in Poland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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