Covid-19, ‘Cure Italy’ decree. Measures for the benefit of individuals, workers and enterprises, ABC

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Covid-19. On 3/17/20, the Italian government adopted the ‘Cura Italia’ decree law on measures to strengthen the National Health Service and provide economic support for families, workers and businesses related to the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19. (1) A measure that includes a number of extraordinary measures for the benefit of individuals, workers and businesses. ABC to follow.

Equally commendable was Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s decision on 3/16/20 in Brussels to propose postponing the signing of the ESM (European Stability Mechanism). At a date to be determined, possibly on the Greek calends, to spare Italy from the fate that has already befallen Greece itself in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. (2)

‘Cure Italy’ decree, tax measures

The ‘Cure Italy’ decree establishes a series of measures-financial, fiscal and other- designed to buffer the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As well as to update the organization of production systems and services, in the public and private sectors, in light of the experience gained in the first weeks of the emergency. At the fiscal level, brief mention of the news:

– suspension of payments. The payment of withholding of social security and welfare contributions and compulsory insurance premiums is suspended.
Suspended payments shall be made, without penalty and interest, in one lump sum by 5/31/20. Or by installment, up to a maximum of 5 equal monthly installments, starting in May 2020,

compliance deadlines, suspension. Any further tax compliance due between 8.3.20 and 31.5.20 is suspended. Suspended payments shall be made, without applying penalties and interest, in a lump sum by 5/31/20. That is, by installment, up to a maximum of 5 equal monthly installments, starting in May 2020,

– Distribution exercises, tax credits. Individuals engaged in business activities are granted a tax credit equal to 60 percent of the rent for the month of March 2020 for properties that fall into the cadastral category C/1 (stores and workshops),

sanitization of workplaces, tax credits. ‘Periodic’ sanitization and daily cleaning of workplaces, as noted, are just some of the measures essential for the continuation of production activities not already suspended by the DPCM 11.3.20, so-called #IoRestoaCasa decree. (3) Individuals engaged in business, art or profession activities are granted a (supplementary) tax credit of 50 percent of the cost of sanitizing working environments and tools, up to a maximum of 20,000 euros, for the 2020 tax period. The tax credit is granted until the maximum amount of €50 million for the year 2020 is exhausted.

‘Cure Italy’ decree, social shock absorbers

Decree Law 17.3.20 also introduces a temporary reform of social safety nets. In brief:

ordinary redundancy fund, new treatment. A new ordinary redundancy payment, replacing the previous social shock absorbers, is established for:

(a) companies that upon the entry into force of DL 23.2.20, no. 6 have had ongoing extraordinary wage supplementation,

(b) companies with current solidarity allowance,

new layoff fund. Regions may authorize a wage supplementation fund in derogation, in favor of enterprises where the protections provided by the current provisions on suspension or reduction of working hours during the relationship do not apply,

professional allowances, Co.Co.s, agricultural and seasonal workers, entertainment. Freelancers with active V.A.T. numbers as of 23.2.20, workers with active coordinated and continuous collaborative relationships as of the same date (enrolled in the separate management scheme, not holding a pension or enrolled in other compulsory social security forms), fixed-term agricultural workers and entertainment workers are granted an allowance one-time payment of €600,

Agricultural unemployment application, extension. The deadline for applying for agricultural unemployment is extended, for 2019 accrual applications only, to 1.6.20,

NASpI and DIS-COLL. Deadlines for filing unemployment claims for NASpI (New Social Insurance for Employment) and DIS-COLL (monthly unemployment benefit) are extended from 68 to 128 days,

first home fund (so-called Gasparrini fund). For a period of 9 months, eligibility for the fund’s benefits is extended to self-employed workers and freelancers who self-certify that in a quarter after 21.2.20 (or the shorter time between the date of application and 21.2.20) they have experienced a decrease in their turnover >33% compared to turnover in the last quarter of 2019, as a result of the closure or restriction of its activities in implementation of the provisions adopted by the coronavirus emergency authority, (4)

Agile work and social security

Workers in the private sector with serious and proven illnesses – for which there is a residual reduced capacity to work – are granted priority in accepting applications to perform work in agile work mode.

Employers must authorize the agile work mode to employees who have in their household a person with disabilities already housed in a rehabilitation center closed by the measure. Where the family member with a disability is a minor, the agile working mode cannot be refused unless this is (manifestly) incompatible with the characteristics of the enterprise. In all these cases, agile work is the ordinary mode of performance.

Leave and allowances:

For private sector employees. Effective 5.3.20, employed parents in the private sector are entitled to take a specific leave, for children aged <12 years, with allowance equal to 50 percent of salary. The use of leave under this article shall be granted alternately to both parents for a total period (continuous or fractional) <15 days,

For employees in the public sector and accredited private health sector. As of 5.3.20, employed parents in the accredited public or private sector are entitled to take compensated leave from work.
Disbursement of the allowance and indication of how the leave is to be taken are the responsibility of the government administration with which the employment relationship exists.

Bonus babysitting. As an alternative to the above leave with allowance, parents of children aged <12 years may choose to receive a bonus for the purchase of babysitting services up to an overall limit of €600, to be used for services rendered.

Law 104/92. The number of days of monthly paid leave from contribution (as per Law 104/92, Art. 33.3) increases by an additional 12 days for both March and April 2020.

Employees, premium. Employee income earners with total income <40,000 euros are entitled for March 2020 to a bonus, which does not contribute to income, of €100 euros to be related to the number of days.

Domestic work, suspension of contribution payment deadlines. The deadlines for the payment of social security contributions and compulsory insurance contributions due by domestic employers during the period from Feb. 23, 20 to May 31, 20 are suspended.

Quarantine. The period spent in quarantine (with active surveillance or fiduciary home stay with active surveillance) by private sector workers is treated as illness for the purposes of the economic treatment provided by the relevant regulations. Without, however, being countable for the purposes of the comportment period.

Social security and welfare, extension of time limits. From 23.2.20 to 1.6.20, the expiration of time limits on social security, welfare and insurance benefits provided by INPS and INAIL is suspended as of right.

Enterprises, extraordinary measures

Requisitions. Until July 31, 2020, the civil defense may authorize the requisition in use or ownership, from any public or private entity, of medical and medical-surgical supplies, as well as movable property of any kind needed to deal with the aforementioned health emergency, including to ensure the provision of facilities and equipment.

Masks, funds for production. For the management of the COVID-19 emergency, and until the end of the state of emergency, it is allowed to produce surgical masks as an exception to current regulations.

SMEs, financial support measures. SMEs will be able to take advantage of financial support from the state, up to 33 percent of the loans disbursed:

– for credit facilities revocable and loans granted against advances on loans existing as of 29.2.20 (or 17.3.20, whichever is higher) the amounts granted, both for the part used and the part not yet used, may not be revoked even in part until 30.9.20,

For non-instalment loans with contractual maturity before 30.9.20, the contracts are extended, together with the respective ancillary elements and without any formality, until 30.9.20.

SMEs, central guarantee fund. For 9 months from the measure, the state will provide SMEs with a guarantee on loans of up to €5 million for investments and restructuring of debt situations, subject to the guarantees and limits provided by the measure.

Enterprise liquidity support. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A. is authorized to grant liquidity to enterprises that have suffered a reduction in turnover due to the aforementioned emergency. Including in the form of first-loss guarantees on portfolios of loans, through banks and other authorized lenders. (5)

Supporting financial measures. If a company sells for consideration, by Dec. 31, 20, pecuniary receivables due from defaulting debtors, it can transform deferred tax assets referring to certain components into tax credits.

Bottom Made in Italy. The ‘Cure Italy’ decree establishes a fund (Fund for Integrated Promotion) with an initial allocation of 150 million euros to be distributed for integrated promotion at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in order to strengthen the instruments of promotion and support for the internationalization of the various components of the country system, including the extraordinary plan to support Made in Italy made through ICE.

Other measures concern the judiciary, universities and local governments, sports associations and sports associates.

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) Decree-Law 17.3.20.
Measures to strengthen the National Health Service and provide economic support for families, workers and businesses related to the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19

(OJ General Series No. 70, 17-03-2020)

(2) On the ESM (European Stability Mechanism), the long range hidden emergency, see the previous article

(3) DPCM 11.3.20, so-called #IoRestoaCasa decree, in OJ General Series 11.3.20 no. 64) https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2020/03/11/20A01605/sg

On containment measures, worker safety and the responsibility of legal representatives of companies, see the previous article

(4) ISEE (Indicator of Equivalent Economic Situation) is not required for access to the First Home Fund.

(5) The state guarantee is issued in favor of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A. up to a maximum of 80% of the exposure assumed.