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COVID-19: Update on the measures announced by the government

Update on the measures announced by the government

In parallel with the resumption of national containment last week, new measures were announced by the Government to support the country’s economic activity during this crisis. We present these measures here, while drawing your attention to the fact that the Government is currently in the process of adapting its texts, and that we will come back to you once these measures have been clarified.

> Solidarity Fund

There are three scenarios here:

  • Companies with less than 50 employees, all sectors of activity and geographical locations combined, and suffering from a compulsory closure of administrations
    • Without exception, they may receive a monthly aid of up to €10,000.
      • Please note: the modalities for obtaining this aid are not yet known; moreover, payment cannot in any case take place before December 1rst, 2020, as the application cannot be made before that date. 
  • Businesses in the tourism, hotel, catering, sports, events and cultural sectors that can continue their activity, but which have lost at least 50% of their turnover
    • They will be entitled to the same compensation as the previous case. 
  • Companies with less than 50 employees, from other sectors of activity, which have lost at least 50% of their turnover
    • They will receive compensation of €1,500 per month.

> Exemption and deferral of social security contributions

Will be entitled to a total exemption from social security contributions:

  • All companies with less than 50 employees that are administratively closed.
  • Businesses from the tourism, hotel, catering, sports, events and cultural sectors that remain open and have lost at least 50% of their turnover.

For self-employed workers, the levies will be suspended, without any administrative steps being necessary.

> PGE and direct loans from the State

PGE (State Guaranteed Loan)

Some relaxations have been put in place:

  • There is now an additional 6 months to contract an EMP. You have until June 30, 2021 to apply for one.
  • Amortization is now spread over 1 to 5 additional years, at a rate of 1 to 1.5% maximum guaranteed by the State.
  • A further one-year repayment deferral, i.e. a total of two years of deferral, may be requested by all companies that wish to do so. The Banque de France will not consider this as a default in payment.

Direct loans from the State

There is the possibility of using direct loans from the State, for companies that do not have access to cash and cannot subscribe to an EMP.
These direct loans are up to :

  • € 10,000 for companies with fewer than 10 employees;
  • € 50,000 for companies with 10 to 50 employees.

There is also the possibility of a repayable advance of 3 months’ turnover for companies with more than 50 employees.

> Payment of rents

In order to support businesses with fewer than 250 employees that are administratively closed or belong to the UNHCR sector, the government has introduced a tax credit to encourage their landlords to cancel part of their rents. This measure will be introduced in the finance bill for 2021.

In concrete terms, any lessor who agrees to waive at least one month’s rent relating to October, November or December 2020, will be able to benefit from a tax credit of 30% of the amount of rent waived. Another advantage: this tax credit can be cumulated with the FSI.
Here again, further details are expected shortly. 

> Evolution of telework

You can find here (in French) the protocol updated on 29/10/2020, the aim of which is to ensure the health and safety of employees in companies in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic.

It is important to remember, concerning teleworking:

  • That it must be applied “100%” for all activities which allow it; for the others, work must be organised in order to :
    • “limit commuting to and from work” and
    • “organise the time spent in the company”;
  • That in view of this exceptional situation, the employer has the possibility of imposing telework on employees for safety reasons (cf. art. L1222-11 of the Labour Code);
  • That the employer must set the rules applicable to telework and inform its employees and their representatives, in accordance with the regulations in force in the event of a change in the organisation of work.

In the case of telework, and in order to limit the risks of professional isolation, the employer must also ensure the proper continuity of the links inherent to the working community.

Finally, the employer now has the possibility of providing for voluntary employee tracking actions, at his or her own expense. However, the regulatory conditions have yet to be specified, and the employer will not have access to the results, due to medical confidentiality.

As we indicated in the introduction, the Government is still in the process of adapting its texts, and many clarifications are still pending. So we are still available to accompany you during this crisis, but we will come back to you soon to clarify these measures.

If you need further information, please contact us!

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