Polish parliament passes support package for crisis-hit firms

The lower house of the Polish parliament has passed a bill providing government aid to companies operating in sectors that have been most affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The bill, passed with 433 votes in favour, three against and 13 abstentions, aims to support sectors hard hit by the economic effects of the pandemic such as hospitality, culture, entertainment, retail and fitness.

It will now go to the upper house, the Senate.

A last-minute amendment was added to the draft legislation on Thursday widening it to include museums and spas.

The Family and Labour Ministry estimates that some 200,000 companies will benefit from the PLN 1.8 bln (EUR 402 million) relief package.

The aid includes a one-off lost-business compensation for owners of companies whose operations have been limited by the government's anti-COVID-19 restrictions. It also offers exemptions from social security contributions in November.

The companies will have to prove they lost at least 40 percent of their revenues in October or November compared to the same months in 2019. However, such rules exclude companies set up this year.

The payments will be carried out until the end of June, 2021.