Covid-19 – Company Health And Safety Procol, Extension Of Clearance Plans, UK Travel

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

  1. Update of the health and safety protocol applicable in companies
  2. Lift of the European ceiling on exemptions and financial aid for the payment of social contributions
  3. Extension of clearance plans of debts for social security contributions
  4. “Closure” financial aid
  5. Travel restrictions from/to the UK

 

  1. Update of the health and safety protocol applicable in companies

The company health and safety protocol was updated by the Ministry of Labour on December 8, 2021, to include various government announcements.

Several measures are confirmed, including:

  • The recommendation to introduce two to three days of teleworking per week;
  • The suspension of festive events in the workplace.

As ventilation measures are key, we would also like to inform you that a calculation tool has been set up to better evaluate and improve air renewal in workplaces by the INRS (National Institute for Research and Safety). It aims to simulate the evolution of the carbon dioxide concentration produced by the occupants’ breathing and estimates the air renewal rate.

Finally, the Minister of Labor indicated on December 22, 2021 during an interview that she asked companies “to prepare the reinforcement of telework at the beginning of next year, therefore on January 3, with a target of three days minimum for the positions that allow it, or even four days when it is possible.” We will keep you informed soon of the potential addition of this measure to the general health and safety protocol in companies.

  1. Lifting of the EU ceiling on exemptions and financial aid for the payment of social contributions

On December 1, 2021, the Official Social Security Bulletin published an instruction on the conditions for capping exemptions and financial aid for the payment of social contributions.

Until then, exemptions and financial aid for the payment of social contributions declared until August 1, 2021 were subject to a ceiling of 2.3 million euros.

From now on, exemptions and financial aid that have not been declared before August 1, 2021 are no longer subject to this ceiling, provided that the conditions mentioned below are met:

  • To have encountered difficulties since March 2020 which could have justified one or more dismissals for economic reasons;
  • Commit to maintain in employment for 3 months, following the last declaration of exemptions and financial aid, the employees concerned by them.

For declarations made before August 1, 2021 for an amount in excess of the ceiling of 2.3 million euros, it is planned that the excess will not give rise to a refund if it is partly linked to the exemption and financial aid arrangements for the payment of social security contributions and subject to compliance with the two cumulative conditions already required for the lift of the ceiling.

  1. Extension of clearance plans of debts for social security contributions

As a reminder, in the context of the deferral of social security contributions for companies affected by the health situation, the Amending Finance Act for 2020 introduced in the spring of 2021 a scheme for the settlement of debts for social security contributions.

By a decree n°2021-1579 of December 6, 2021, the duration of these clearance plans can now be extended to 5 years for employers operating in sectors S1 and S1 bis.

As a reminder, employers with less than 250 employees on January 1, 2020 who have concluded a clearance plan but are unable to meet all the deadlines may also benefit from a partial remission of their contributions if they :

  • do not benefit from the system of reduction and financial aid for the payment of social security contributions as part of their clearance plan;
  • attest to particular economic difficulties making it impossible to meet the deadlines of the clearance plan;
  • are up to date with their social security reporting obligations at the date of the application;
  • have noted a reduction in turnover of at least 50% between February 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 OR between March 15, 2020 and May 15, 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 OR the average monthly turnover for 2019 over 4 or 2 months respectively, depending on the period chosen;
  • certify that they have applied for payment deferrals, additional financing facilities or debt forgiveness for the payment of debts owed to private creditors.

The application must be made on the Urssaf website.

  1. “Closure” financial aid

A decree n°2021-1664 of December 16, 2021 sets up a so-called “closure” aid which aims to compensate for the uncovered fixed costs of companies whose activity has been affected by the administrative restriction measures aimed at fighting the Covid-19 epidemic.

This financial aid concerns companies that:

  • Were created before January 1, 2019;
  • Have saturated the €10 million ceiling for “fixed costs” aid;
  • Carry out their main activity in a sector S1 or S1 bis and for which:
  • Some of the activities have been subject to administrative measures such as administrative closures, a ban on receiving the public or a measure that prevents the exercise of all or part of the activity;
  • Some of the activities achieve more than 80% of their turnover during the eligible period with a closed activity;
  • Have suffered a loss of turnover of at least 80% during the eligible period in respect of their eligible activities;
  • Have a negative gross operating profit fixed costs of eligible activities during the eligible period.

The aid is paid in the form of a grant, the amount of which is the sum of the aid to which the company is entitled for each eligible period between January 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021.

The amount for each eligible period is 70 % of the mathematical opposite of the fixed costs gross operating profit of the eligible activities during the eligible period.

Single applications for this financial aid must be submitted by electronic means between December 22, 2021 and February 28, 2022 on the website www.impots.gouv.fr

  1. UK Travels

We inform you that following the publication of Decree n° 2021-1671 of December 16, 2022, all travel from the United Kingdom to France, for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons, is now subject to compelling reasons. It should be noted that the participation in the PFW will not fall into this category. More information can be found on this page.