From the employers’ perspective, the increased flexibility will result not only from the possibility to reduce wages, but also from new regulations on working time reduction.
An employer who has suffered from a decline in economic turnover due to the coronavirus epidemic will be able to reduce working time by maximum 20%, but such a reduction must not result in the employee being employed less than ½ full time equivalent.
Consequently, the employee’s salary after the reduction cannot drop under the minimum wage. There will also be a possibility to obtain a pay subsidy of up to 40% of the average monthly salary in the previous quarter. Currently, this amount is PLN 2,079.43, but in the case of subsequent periods it will be necessary to verify the amount of the average monthly remuneration for work, which will probably decrease due to the starting economic crisis.
The possibility to take the above actions depends on the decrease in the employer’s economic turnover according to indicators defined in detail by the lawmakers. A decrease in turnover will be examined according to quantitative or value criteria, depending on the decrease in sales of goods or services.
The amended Act specifies detailed rules in this respect. A turnover drop is defined as a decrease by at least 15% during at least 2 calendar months following January 1, 2020, or as a turnover decrease by at least 25% in any one month in 2020. Therefore, it will be easier to obtain support if a significant drop in turnover continues for more than a month (then the threshold is lowered from 25% to 15%).