Coronavirus: Government actions for impacted companies

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, while the country entered lock-down, the authorities are trying to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis on businesses. This includes encouraging the employers to use partial unemployment for their employees, by proposing the postponement payment of social contributions, as well as offering the possibility of postponing the payment of the next due dates for corporate tax and payroll tax. 

fiskaltrust presents to you the measures announced by the government to help companies cope with the Coronavirus health crisis. 

Telecommuting: 

Faced with the current situation, the request of the employee to work from home cannot be refused by the employer. Thus, as soon as the activity allows, the establishment of employees working from home is imperative. 

The Ministry of Labour also clarified, following the President’s speech on March 16, 2020, that in the context of the confinement, telecommuting is now the rule and that professional travel will only be authorized for jobs that cannot be set up for this work mode. 

Partial unemployment: 

The government is encouraging companies to use partial unemployment and the President has announced that compensation paid to employees will be reimbursed in full. 

The Government is currently discussing the practical implementation of this measure. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Labour communicated the following information: 

  • Companies will have one month (30 days) to make their declaration of partial unemployment, with retroactive consideration. 
  • Within the limit of 4.5 times the minimum wage, the partial unemployment scheme should cover all of the compensation paid by the company to employees. 

Childcare allowance: 

Following the closure of all schools, a system similar to daily allowances has been provided for parents who have to look after their children. Thus, only one of the two parents at a time will be able to benefit, without any waiting period, from compensation and this for a maximum of 20 days. 

Paid vacation: 

An employer has the option of asking employees who have already set leave dates to move them so that they correspond to the period of reduced activity. 

An employer may also impose a week of paid leave on an employee during the confinement period after the establishment of a company or branch agreement. 

Deferral of contributions: 

Companies wishing to do so, are able to postpone the payment of social security contributions due on March 15. The monthly deadline of March 20, 2020 for the self-employed will not be enforced. 

Tax settlement deadlines: 

Businesses facing difficulties will be able to defer payment of the next corporate and payroll tax payments without penalty. The government also proposes to suspend monthly contracts for the payment of property tax and the CFE. The measures announced concern, for the time being, only direct taxes. Thus, withholding tax and VAT are currently excluded from this measure, but a communication from the tax administration specifies that no penalty will be applied in the event of late payment of indirect taxes. 

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