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Factsheet for measure PL-2021-27/1875 Updated – measures in Poland

The government's decision to cut down rental rates in shopping malls

Decyzja rządu o obniżeniu stawek czynszu w centrach handlowych

Country Poland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 29 June 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Deferral of payments or liabilities
Author Jan Czarzasty (Warsaw School of Economics)
Measure added 15 April 2021 (updated 20 October 2021)

Background information

From the first lockdown in the spring of 2020, through the second one, lasting from October 2020 to May 2021, sanitary restrictions hindering operations of retail severely affected the businesses located in the shopping malls. From the beginning, the issue at stake was the reduction of rental rates due to inability (temporary closure of the premises, either entirely or partially) or limited ability (quotas on the number of customers) for the business operators to conduct their activities resulting in dropping sales and increasing problems with payment of rent. For a long time the issue remained subject of individual negotiations between the contracting parties. In the spring of 2021, the government stepped in with the amendment to the anti-crisis legislation introducing a uniform rule according to which the rental rates in the shopping malls would be cut by 80%.

Content of measure

New clause (Article 15ze1) was added to the Act. It states that the benefits from a rent for using of the commercial space due to lease agreement, tenancy agreement or another similar agreement concluded before March 14, 2020, through which the commercial space is made available for use, during the period of the ban on conducting business activity in commercial facilities with a sales area above 2,000 m2 is to be reduced to 20% of the amount set by the agreement before 14 March 2020, and, within three months of the date on which each type of prohibition is lifted, to 50%.

However, if the reduction of rent in such an amount would be seen as unjustified by the proprietor in light of the civil code regulations the court can, after analyzing the interests of the parties, determine the amount of the reduction. That is, the scale of reduction can be eventually lower than 80%.


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

16 September 2021

The European Commission, inquired by the Polish media, confirmed to have received the information from the PRCH made using the whistleblower mechanism.

Use of measure

To be seen. However, the negative stance of the shopping malls and their organised representation suggest the measure can be challenged.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Employers' organisations
Company / Companies
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)

Social partners

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

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

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

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


The only organisation involved directly (at the stage of parliamentary proceedings) was the Polish Council of Shopping Centers (PRCH), the largest organisation comprising shopping malls in Poland (240 entities). Two employer organisations, Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs (Federacja Przedsiebiorców Polskich, FPP), national-level employer organisation, and the Union of Polish Employers of Trade and Services became involved indirectly, by voicing their support for the government's initiative.

Views and reactions

PRCH strongly opposed the draft law in course of the legislative process and has continued to do so after the new regulations were adopted. PRCH argues that the new measure is a case of illegal public aid (in violation of Articles 107 and 108 of the EU Treaty), which should have been notified to the European Commission. PRCH informed the EC about the fact.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles G45 Wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 03 March 2020: The Act of 2 March on Special Measures regrading Prevention, Counteraction and Combating COVID-19 Other Contagious Diseases and Crisis Situations Related and Some Other act of Law Ustawa z dnia 2 marca 2020 r. o szczególnych rozwiązaniach związanych z zapobieganiem, przeciwdziałaniem i zwalczaniem COVID-19, innych chorób zakaźnych oraz wywołanych nimi sytuacji kryzysowych (
  • 27 April 2021: Discount for tenants in galleries. The sector surprised (
  • 01 July 2021: The Act of 1 July 2021 amending the Act on Special Measures regarding Prevention, Counteraction and Combating COVID-19 Other Contagious Diseases and Crisis Situations Related and Some Other act of Law (
  • 08 July 2021: PRCH sent an opinion on the shopping centre sector market to the European Commission (
  • 16 September 2021: Will shopping mall tenants have to give back 4 billion zlotys? (


Eurofound (2021), The government's decision to cut down rental rates in shopping malls, measure PL-2021-27/1875 (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.