Covid-19 -Partial activity regime, aid for the hiring of young people, solidarity fund

 

 

To follow up on our previous newsletters, please find below information related to the following topics:

 

  • Evolution of the partial activity regime
  • Exceptional financial aid to employers of apprentices and employees on professionalization contracts
  • Exceptional purchasing power bonus (Macron bonus)
  • Renewal of the deferral of contributions to the Ursaff
  • Solidarity fund
  • Aid for seasonal stocks
  • Deadline for opting for the real tax regime
  • Aid for digitization

 

1.Evolution of the partial activity regime

 

 Two decrees of April 28, 2021 (n°2021-508 and n°2021-509) extend again the partial activity regime.

 

  • Regarding unprotected sectors:
  • For the employer: the rate of allowance paid by the State, which was initially set to fall to 36% as of May 1, 2021, will remain at 60% of the previous gross remuneration until May 31, 2021 (i.e. a remainder to be paid of 15%) before falling to 36%.
  • For the employee: the rate of compensation paid will be 70% of the previous gross remuneration until May 31, before decreasing to 60% of the previous gross remuneration as of June 1, 2021 and no longer as of May 1, 2021.
  • Regarding protected and related areas:
  • For the employer: the rate of allowance paid by the State will be 70% of the previous gross remuneration until May 31, 2021 before decreasing to 60% in June and 36% as of July 1.
  • For the employee: the rate of allowance paid will be 70% of the previous gross remuneration until June 30, 2021 and no longer until May 31, 2021. As of July 1, the rate of compensation will increase to 60%.

 

  • For employees unable to work:

 

The partial activity scheme specific to employees considered as vulnerable or who have to take care of children and are unable to work continues to apply.

The rates of indemnity and allowance paid respectively to the employee and the employer remain fixed at 70% of the employee’s previous gross remuneration (i.e. zero remaining expenses).

 

As a reminder, an employee who has to take care of his or her child benefits from this scheme:

  • When the child’s class or institution is closed for health reasons
  • When their child under 16 years old or their child with a disability is identified as a contact case

 

Proof is still required, and the employee must provide a statement on his or her honor indicating that he or she is the only parent requesting a work stoppage.

 

 

2.Exceptional financial aid to employers of apprentices and employees on professionalization contracts 

 

As a reminder, the exceptional financial aid for work-study programs has been extended until December 31, 2021 and concerns apprenticeship or professionalization contracts. Its amount can go from 5,000 euros for the hiring of any student under 18 years old, to 8,000 euros for the hiring of a student over 18 years old.

In order to benefit from the aid, companies with 250 employees or more must commit to respecting conditions related to the number of work-study students in their staffThe reference year is now 2022.

A decree dated April 28, 2021 modifies the base of the number of alternating work-study students to be reached by December 31, 2022, in order to benefit from the exceptional aid to employers of apprentices and employees on professionalization contracts for contracts concluded between April 1 and December 31, 2021.

 

Young people doing international volunteer work in companies are now included.

There is no longer any difference depending on whether the company is subject to the apprenticeship tax.

 

Two periods are to be distinguished:

 

  • For contracts entered into before April 1, 2021:

 

The commitment of the employer of at least 250 employees is reached on December 31, 2021 when :

  • The company is subject to the apprenticeship tax and is not liable for the additional apprenticeship contribution (CSA)
  • Not subject to the apprenticeship tax, the company meets the required quota of alternating work-study students calculated according to the same methods as the CSA (the rate of the CSA, due by companies with at least 250 employees who employ at least 5% alternating work-study students, varies according to the percentage of employees on alternating work-study contracts in relation to the total workforce)

 

  • For contracts entered into between April 1 and December 31, 2021:

 

Companies with at least 250 employees must demonstrate that they have a minimum percentage of employees on work-study programs by December 31, 2022:

  • By December 31, 2022, the company must have at least 5% of its total annual workforce in work-study programs OR
  • The company must have at least 3% of its total workforce on apprenticeship and professionalization contracts and employees hired on open-ended contracts the year following the end of these initial contracts by December 31, 2022. In this second case, the company must also :
  • prove that the number of work-study students has increased by at least 10% by the same date compared with 2021 OR
  • have experienced an increase in the number of work-study students and belong to a branch covered by an agreement providing for an increase of at least 10% in the number of such employees in companies with at least 250 employees by 2022, and provide evidence that the increase has been achieved in the proportions provided for in the agreement, compared with 2021

 

3.Exceptional purchasing power bonus (Macron bonus)

 

The Ministry of Labor has specified in a press release the outline of a bill currently being drafted which will be published by the summer.

The exceptional purchasing power bonus, which is tax-free, would be renewed up to a ceiling of 1,000 euros, for salaries up to three smic and without substitution for another element of remuneration.

For companies or branches that undertake to set up actions to enhance the status of second-line workers, the ceiling for the bonus would be raised to 2,000 euros. These enhancement actions will have to be formalized by the conclusion of branch or company method agreements on measures for access to training, on remuneration or on their working conditions.

This derogation would also apply to companies covered by a profit-sharing agreement in force.

Bonuses could be paid until the beginning of 2022 and this measure would be applicable retroactively to bonuses paid since the introduction of the bill, which should take place this summer.

 

We will come back to you to specify the final details of the adopted scheme.

 

4.Renewal of the deferral of contributions to the Ursaff

 

The Ursaff renews for the month of May the exceptional measures put in place to support companies whose activity is subject to health restrictions.

The declarations must still be filed on the dates initially planned, however, employers experiencing a closure, a direct or indirect restriction of their activity, will be able to obtain the postponement of all or part of the employer and employee contributions and supplementary pension for the deadlines of May 5 or 17, 2021.

Contributions that are not paid will be automatically deferred without penalty or late payment surcharge.

 

5. Solidarity fund

 

The March Solidarity Fund application form has been online since April 20, 2021 at impots.gov.

Your applications can be submitted until May 31, 2021.

The form now includes a “temporary aid” section that allows you to indicate whether or not you have already received aid.

The decree n°2021-553 of May 5, 2021 modifies the eligibility criteria for the solidarity fund for the month of April 2021.

In order to be eligible, it is now necessary to justify a date of commencement of activity set at a maximum of January 31, 2021 and no longer December 31, 2020. The aid must be requested by June 30, 2021 at the latest.

 

The following are eligible for the solidarity fund:

 

  • Companies that have been banned from receiving the public continuously during the month of April 2021 and have lost at least 20% of their turnover: the amount of aid will be equal to the amount of the loss of turnover, up to a limit of 10,000 euros (and 200,000 at group level) or 20% of the reference turnover. The most favorable option will be applied.

 

  • Companies that have been banned from receiving the public for only part of April 2021 and have suffered a loss of at least 20% of their turnover:
    • When their loss is greater than or equal to 50% of the turnover, the amount of the subsidy is equal to the amount of the loss of turnoverwithin the limit of 10,000 euros, or 20% of the reference turnover.
    • When their loss is less than 50% of the turnover, the amount of the aid will be equal to the amount of the loss of turnover within the limit of 1.500 euros.

 

  • Companies belonging to the S1 bis sector, which have suffered a loss of turnover of at least 50% during the period between April 1, 2021 and April 30, 2021 and which:
    • For businesses created before March 1, 2020, have suffered a loss of turnover of at least 80% between March 15, 2020 and May 15, 2020compared to the reference turnover
    • Have suffered a loss of revenue of at least 80% between November 1 and 30, 2020 compared to the reference revenue
  • Established between January 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020, the loss is defined as the turnover achieved between the date of the company’s establishment and October 31, 2020, compared to one month’s turnover
  • Established after October 1, 2020, the loss is defined as the turnover of the month of December 2020
  • The loss of turnover condition does not apply to companies created after November 1, 2020;
    • Created before December 1, 2019 and having suffered a loss of annual sales between 2019 and 2020 of at least 10% (sales for 2019 are understood to be the average monthly sales made between the date of creation of the business and December 31, 2019 brought back to twelve months, when the business was created in 2019)

 

  • Companies that carry out their main activity in retail trade with at least one of their stores prohibited from receiving the public without interruption from April 1 to 30, 2021 located in a shopping center with an area greater than or equal to 10,000 square meters and that have lost at least 50% of sales in April 2021.

 

For the last two categories :

 

  • If the company suffers a loss of turnover greater than or equal to 70% the amount of aid is equal to either 20% of the reference turnover, or 80% of the loss of turnover up to a limit of 10,000 euros. Companies benefit from the most favorable option. If the loss of turnover is greater than 1,500 euros, the minimum amount of the subsidy is 1,500 euros. Where the loss of turnover is less than or equal to 1,500 euros, the subsidy is equal to 100% of the loss of turnover.
  • If the company has suffered a loss of turnover of less than 70%, the amount of the subsidy is equal to either 15% of the reference turnover or 80% of the loss of turnover up to a maximum of 10,000 euros. Companies benefit from the more favorable option. If the loss of turnover is greater than 1,500 euros, the minimum amount of the subsidy is 1,500 euros. Where the loss of turnover is less than or equal to 1,500 euros, the subsidy is equal to 100% of the loss of turnover.

 

 

Other companies with less than 50 employees can benefit from the extension of the 1,500 euros subsidy for the month of April if they have suffered a loss of at least 50% of their turnover.

For all the above-mentioned subsidies, the aid paid is limited to a maximum of 200,000 euros at group level.

For your information, the total amount of so-called “temporary” aid granted to companies cannot exceed 1.8 million euros at group level for the period from March 2020 to December 2021. This is the sum of the total payments from the solidarity fund and exemptions from charges.

For all intents and purposes, the FAQ on the solidarity fund was updated on April 30, 2021.

 

 6.Aid for seasonal stocks

 

 

The Minister of Economy announced that the exceptional aid for unsold stocks mentioned in our previous newsletter will be paid automatically on May 26, 2021 to retailers of clothing, footwear, sports, leather goods and travel items affected by the problem of seasonal stocks.

As a reminder, this aid will represent 80% of the amount of aid received under the solidarity fund in November 2020.

When the company achieves more than 1 million euros in sales per month, aid will be provided under the scheme of support for fixed costs.

 

 7.Deadline for opting for the real tax regime

 

Some companies under a real tax regime and having undergone a sharp decline in their economic activity in 2020 may have seen their turnover fall below the threshold of the real tax regime (€176,200 for sales and €72,600 for services), resulting in the automatic application of the micro-business regime.

In order to keep the benefit of the real tax regime, the concerned companies had to formulate an option at the latest on February 1st of the year of application of the actual regime, i.e. for the year 2020 on February 1st, 2020.

This deadline for opting for a real tax regime for 2020 and 2021 has been extended to the deadline for filing the income tax return (May 19, 2021, for 2020). The option results from this single filing.

 

Only companies that :

  • have experienced a drop in turnover below the limits of the micro-BIC regime as a result of administrative measures to combat covid-19 
  • were already subject to the real tax regime in 2019

 

 

The website impots.gouv has published an FAQ with the details of this measure. 

 

 

8. Aid for digitalization

 

A decree n°2021-555 of May 6, 2021 modifies the conditions of eligibility to the exceptional aid to digitization of a lump sum of 500 euros for companies employing less than eleven employees.

 

In order to be eligible, companies no longer need to have been banned from receiving the public or to be registered in the Trade and Companies Register or Trade Directory.

 

However, the condition of not having a full-time employment contract since October 30, 2020 has been added, unless the company’s salaried workforce is greater than or equal to one.

 

To benefit from the aid, you must send your application to the “Agence de services et de paiement” through a teleservice before July 31, 2021 for invoices dated from January 28, 2021 subject to available credits. The closing date for the scheme could be anticipated if the number of applications received saturates the €60 million budget.

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