Special suspension of some social employer’s obligations


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Learning Outcomes

Objectives and goalsClick to read  

At the end of this module you will be able to:

Know about anti-crisis support mechanisms limiting the social obligations of employees
Identify the anti-crisis instruments directed on reduction of social obligations suitable for your enterprise 
Succesfully use legal and economic instruments on reduction of social obligations at workplaces
 

Special suspension of some social employer’s obligations

Legal and economic solutions – anti-crisis shieldsClick to read  

The main goal of state aid → protection of jobs and security of employees

Most frequently institutions used were:
-    exemptions from social security contributions, 
-    financing of salaries and social security contributions during reduction of working time; 
-    support programs in anti-crisis shields; 
-    limiting and co-financing the other social obligations of employers. 

Source: Esmerald. IO2 Summary, 2022 (by CUE); OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2021; European Commission. 2021. SME Annual Report - 2020/2021. [online] Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/46062.



 

 

Limiting social employees’ obligations by remote workClick to read  

Sources:  Aspekty pracy zdalnej z perspektywy pracownika, pracodawcy i gospodarki, PARP, stan na 15 grudnia 2021 r.; Raport o stanie sektora małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw w Polsce, PARP, Warszawa 2020; Eurofound (2020b), Living, working and COVID-19, COVID-19 series, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
 

Collective agreements reducing social employee’s obligationsClick to read  

Main examples:

Collective agreements on the working conditions during economic downtime and reduced working hours

the role of the representatives of employees;
the differences between the period of economic downtime (stopage) and the period of reduced working hours;
the content of the agreements;
the employee’s renumeration and state aid during agreement;

STATISTIC DATA

decrease in working time (or for remote working) – in amounts of 77 % and 90 % respectively;
the additional financing of remunerations and social security contributions was indicated by the 79% of the surveyed entities;

Source: IO2, Summary report on the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs and their resilience, Executive summary of findings, 2022 and the literature cited therein.

 

Suspension of some obligations with the company social benefits fund Click to read  

The suspension of the obligation to establish or operate a company social benefit fund:

the suspension of the obligation to make a basic write-off;
the suspension of the payment of holiday benefits;
limits of a write-off for a company social benefit fund during COVID’s period;

Source: IO2, Summary report on the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs and their resilience, Executive summary of findings, 2022; the Polish example;
 

Other solutions on reduction of the employee’s social obligationsClick to read  

1. Other solutions on reduction of the employee’s social obligations

suspension of a collective labour agreements;
forced overdue holidays – general rules, anti-crisis solutions (UNIDU, CUE, MetC Foundation, IWS),;
individual agreements with employees (SEERC Greece);
the specific possibilities of terminating the non-competition agreements (CUE);
suspension of the obligations to perform periodic medical examinations and facilitating the conduct     of preliminary medical examinations (CUE, MetC Foundation, IWS Spain);

Source: IO2, Summary report on the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs and their resilience, Executive summary of findings, 2022;

2. Special flexible solutions according to the anti-crisis shield

limits of the general statutory uninterrupted daily rest and the weekly rest;
a balanced periods of rest;
collective agreements on introduction of balanced working time system;
collective agreements on the application of less favourable employment conditions (SEERC Greece);
opportunity to work during quarantine and home isolation;

Sources: European Commission. 2021. SME Annual Report - 2020/2021. [online] Available at: <https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/46062> [Accessed 15.11.2021]; IO2, Summary report on the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs and their resilience, Executive summary of findings, 2022.

3. Special solutions to reduction of employment

collective redundancy;
individual redundancy;
economic reasons;
social benefits connected with redundancy in crisis.

Examples: IWS, UNIDU, Poland, SEERC Greece.
Source: IO2, Summary report on the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs and their resilience, Executive summary of findings, 2022.



Description:

A number of anti-crisis legal institutions have been introduced in Poland, which are aimed at facilitating the organization of work of employees and flexible development of work (e.g. flexible work time institutions), as well as limiting the social obligations of employers and solutions aimed at providing financial support to entrepreneurs in order to maintain workplaces. The aim of this training is learning more about anti-crisis possibilities related to suspension, reduction or limiting some social benefits of employers’s obligations during crisis time.


Keywords

Suspension, reduction, social obligations


Bibliography

Coronavirus (COVID-19): SME Policy Responses, OECD, updated 15 July 2020. 

Raport o stanie sektora małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw w Polsce, PARP, Warszawa 2020;

M. Latos-Miłkowska, Collective Agreements in the Anti-Crisis Shield, Praca i Zabezpieczenie Społeczne 2020/10.

Ł. Pisarczyk, A. Boguska, Sfera zatrudnienia w działaniach antykryzysowych. Wybrane zagadnienia, Monitor Prawa Pracy, 2020/9.

M. Karkowska, Between the letter of the law and practice. Responses to top-down regulations related to the spread of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, Studia BAS, 1(69)2022.

M. Mędrala, Ograniczenia praw zatrudnionych w tarczy 4.0 – niektóre refleksje w kontekście zasad konstytucyjnych, Monitor Prawa Pracy 9/2020.