Author: Avv. Paola Parma Sforza

ADDITIONAL EMERGENCY MEASURES TO SUPPORT THE CONTINUITY OF BUSINESSES AND THE ITALIAN ECONOMY (DL 23/2020 AND DPC 26 APRIL 2020)

The following is a selection and summary of the provisions which we deem of interest for our clients, as per D.L. n. 23 of April 8, 2020 (so called Decreto Liquidità), enacted by  the Italian Government with the purpose of supporting businesses continuity and the Italian economic system, put at risk by the pandemic and the consequent lockdown.

Each measure shall have the duration specifically stated therein (some up to December 31, 2020).

To the extent possible, this summary includes also some subsequent official clarifications/ applications.

Moreover, Prime Minister Decree (DPCM) of 26 April 2020 enlarged the list of business activities allowed to operate from May 4, 2020 (from April 27 activities preparing such openings are also authorized); under EMPLOYMENT you will find some relevant information in this respect.

 

Upon request, we are available to provide more detailed information and to assist in applying those measures.

 

Contents

EMPLOYMENT

FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO BUSINESSES

BUSINESS CONTINUITY

CONTROL OF ACQUISITIONS

DELAY OF PROCEDURAL TERMS AND HEARINGS

EXTENSION OF TERMS IN TAX MATTERS AND OTHER TAX PROVISIONS

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

Admission to ordinary and special CIG (section 41 – confirmation and enhancement of section 19 and following of DL 18/2020)

The ordinary Wage Supplement Fund (CIG) and the Special Wage Supplement Fund (CIG in deroga) are extended to employees hired from February 24, 2020 to March 17, 2020.

 

 New Work Safety and Health Protocols

All business activities whose operations are allowed (including those recently authorized pursuant to DPCM 26.04.2020) are subject to the general obligation of assuring workers’ safety and health provided for by general law 81/2008, as specifically adapted to the pandemic situation by the new Protocol agreed upon between the Government and the employers/employees associations on April 24, 2020 as well as, for the construction sites the specific Protocol of April 24, 2020 and for transportation and  logistics the Protocol of March 20, 2020.

Failure to comply with those protective measures would cause the closing of the operations as well as, in case of personal damages to the employees, civil and criminal liability for the employer.

 

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO BUSINESSES

 

Support to small and medium size businesses – PMI Fund  (section 13)

The existing PMI Fund (State guaranteed loans), already enlarged by previous emergency provisions, up to December 31,2020, is made accessible also to enterprises with up to 499 employees and to professionals and is available for a maximum guaranteed amount of Euro 5 million for each enterprise; with no preliminary  evaluation of the beneficiary standing ( only requirements checked) and  at no guarantee cost.

Main requirements and conditions to access this financing (loan) are the following[1]:

Revenues of the beneficiary (limit) Duration of the financing  Interest- only period Maximum amount financed  Direct guarantee amount Counter-guarantee amount Evaluation of the beneficiary
No limit Up to 72 months At least 24 months 25% of revenues (as per last b/s or last tax return) within the amount of  Euro  25,000.00 100% None
Up to Euro 3,200,000.00 25% of revenues within the amount of Euro 800,000.00 90% (100% with CONFIDI counter-guarantee) None
None Up to 72 months Either one of the following:

* 200% of the personnel cost of the last FY

* 25% of last FY turnover

*working capital and investment needed for  carrying out the business over the subsequent 18 /12 months

90% 100% None

Under certain conditions the guarantee is granted also to beneficiaries being in default under other financing positions or having in place insolvency procedures such as, by way of example, a “concordato” with continuation of the business.

The guarantee applies to new financing; however, an already existing loan may be extinguished by the new guaranteed one, provided that as a result the amount of credit allowed by the concerned bank is higher than the previous one.

 

General support through SACE guarantee to enterprises  (section 1)

Another set of guarantees up to an amount of 200 billion Euro is granted up to December 31, 2020 by SACE spa, a State controlled financial company.

These SACE guarantees are aimed to support the financing of all enterprises (including small and medium size enterprises and professionals, to the extent they exhausted already the PMI Fund provisions) with registered office in Italy, irrespective of their field of activity, except for bank and other financial institutions.

These guaranteed loans

  • must be destined to cover the costs of personnel, investments and working capital in production sites and activities located in Italy, as certified by the beneficiary’s legal representative
  • are subject to the beneficiary’s undertaking that no resolution to distribute dividends  will be taken in 2020 by the beneficiary and by any other entity with registered office in Italy, belonging to the same group
  • are subject to the beneficiary’s undertaking that its employment levels will be managed in agreement with the employees’ unions.

The beneficiary must be in bonis as of December 2019, i.e. not falling under the definitions of enterprises in need pursuant to EU Regulations 651/2014, 702/201, and 1388/2014, and must not have deteriorated debts towards the financing bank as of February 29, 2020.

Guarantees are available as follows[2]:

Turnover of the beneficiary/ employee  (limit) Duration of the financing  Interest- only period Maximum

guarantee amount

Direct guarantee amount Application Procedure 
Up to Euro 1,500 million

and up to 5,000 employees  in Italy (consolidated data to be provided)

Up to 6 years Up to 24 months The higher between

* 25% of the 2019 turnover as per the b/s or the tax return

and

*200% of the personnel cost in 2019 as per the b/s or the tax return

90% Application processes by the financing bank and by SACE
Between Euro 1,500 million and Euro  5,000 million

and above  5,000 employees  in Italy (consolidated data to be provided)

Up to 6 years Up to 24 months Same as above 70% As above + resolution of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, upon opinion of the Ministry of the Economic Development, taking into account the role of the applicant enterprise in respect to the following: 1) contribution to technological development, 2) logistics and supply, 3) impact on critical and strategical structures, 4) impact on employment levels

This SACE guarantee applies to new financing; however, an already existing loan may be extinguished by the new guaranteed one, provided that as a result the amount of credit allowed by the concerned bank is higher than the previous one.

 

Support to export and internationalization (section 3)

The Decree n. 23 introduced a co-insurance system according to which 90% of the insurance activity of SACE is undertaken by the state administration; as a consequence, SACE has more resources available to support the internationalization of Italian enterprises and the export.

In granting the above state insurance guarantee, those sectors deemed to be strategical as to employment levels and effects on the national economic system shall be privileged.

 

 

BUSINESS CONTINUITY

 

Financial losses and re-capitalization (section 6)

Up to December 31, 2020, financial losses exceeding 1/3rd of the corporate capital shall not cause the mandatory reduction of the capital nor, if impairing the minimum corporate capital and not covered, they shall cause the mandatory winding up of an Italian limited liability, joint stock or cooperative company (pursuant to sections 2446, 2447, 2482 tr. 2484, 2445 duodecies of the Civil Code); as a consequence, directors are exempted from the obligation to manage the company on a purely conservative basis when the company would otherwise be in a winding up status because of losses.

 

Company accounts (section 7)

Balance sheets for the fiscal year ending within December 31, 2020 (as well as those closed as of February 23, 2020 but not yet approved) can be drafted applying evaluation criteria based on business continuity perspective; in other words, the directors, in evaluating certain items of the accounts, are exempted from taking into account the effects of the emergency financial crisis (which would make mandatory the evaluation of said items in a liquidation-not continuity- perspective), provided that this is noticed in the accompanying documents.

 

Shareholders loans (section 8)

Shareholders’ loans granted to limited liability and joint stock companies from April 9, 2020 up to December 31, 2020 are exempted from the subordination rules of section 2467 of the Civil Code  (i.e. their repayment is not conditioned upon the prior payment of the other creditors, even if granted where the financial situation of the company would make advisable an equity contribution).

 

 Temporary suspension of insolvency procedure applications (section 10)

Applications for bankruptcy or for extraordinary administration for large enterprises (pursuant to D.Lgs 270/1999) filed between March 9, 2020 and June 30, 2020 are inadmissible.

The above mentioned period of time is not accounted for the purpose of the one year term for application for bankruptcy of a company cancelled from the Companies’ Registry and for the purpose of the statute of limitation term for revocation claims concerning payments and transactions affecting the creditors’ interests (”azioni revocatorie”- section 69 bis of Bankruptcy Law); however, the relevant period- prior to the insolvency declaration- in which the suspect payment /transaction occurred, remains unchanged.

Postponements of terms are also provided for in the matter of “concordato preventivo” (composition with creditor insolvency procedure- section 9)

 

Expiry terms of instruments postponed (section 11)

Terms (including for payments) relating to checks, promissory notes and similar instruments are suspended between March 9 and April 30, 2020; as consequence, terms originally expiring on a date within said period will expire on May 1.

 

 

CONTROL OF ACQUISITIONS

 

Acquisition Control-Golden Powers (and the like) enhanced (section 15, 16 and 17)  

In order to avoid that Italian companies operating in sectors deemed strategical or of national interest, due to their loss of value as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, become the target of foreign investments resulting in a damage to the Italian economy, the Italian government enhanced the scope of its control (“Golden Powers”, as already provided by D.L. 15 March 2012, n. 21 converted into Law 56/2012)

 

–   to include, among the target companies, those operating in all the sectors identified by article 4.1 of EU Regulation 452/2019, and namely:

(a) critical infrastructure, whether physical or virtual, including energy, transport, water, health, communications, media, data processing or storage, aerospace, defence, electoral or financial infrastructure, and sensitive facilities, as well as land and real estate crucial for the use of such infrastructure;

(b) critical technologies and dual use items as defined in point 1 of Article 2 of Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009,  including artificial intelligence, robotics, semiconductors, cybersecurity, aerospace, defence, energy storage, quantum and nuclear technologies as well as nanotechnologies and biotechnologies;

(c)  supply of critical inputs, including energy or raw materials, as well as food security;

(d) access to sensitive information, including personal data, or the ability to control such information;

(e)  the freedom and pluralism of the media.

Credit, bank and insurance sectors are expressly mentioned as critical financial sectors;

 

–   to include, up to December 31, 2020, among the transactions requiring prior notification to the Prime Minister, the acquisition of controlling share-ownership in companies operating in the mentioned sectors, as well as the resolutions causing changes in the ownership, control and availability of assets in same sectors (that, in addition to the transactions already subject to notification pursuant to Law 56/2012);

 

–   to include, up to December 31, 2020, among those by which notification is due, the EU entities/individuals undertaking control of a company operating in the concerned sectors and the non EU entities/individuals acquiring voting rights or capital shares of 10% or above or getting a subsequent share of 15%, 20%, 25% or 50% of the target company. Clearly, in order to preserve the free circulation of capitals and investments within the European Union, any limitation to intra-EU transactions shall be applied only to the extent necessary for public order and safety purposes;

 

–   (as allowed by Regulation 452/2019, but not provided for, originally, by Law 56/2012), to include the possibility of an ex officio control of the government in same sectors/transactions which are the object of the “Golden Powers”, where due notification is lacking or defective; in that respect, the government may get information and documents from the concerned companies, entities and  public administrations;

 

–   (as allowed by Regulation 452/2019, but not previously provided for by TUF – the Italian main consolidated law in the matter of finance), to include the possibility for CONSOB (the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission) to control the transactions concerning small and medium size public companies (PMI), for a limited period of time, and  also below the thresholds of 3% and 5% provided by article 120 par. 2 bis TUF, as well as to request to purchasers of shares below 5% clarifications about their objectives over  the 6 month period following said acquisition.

 

Actually, CONSOB, with resolutions of April 9, 2020, applied the above new controls, to 104 identified public companies.

The above described measures are compliant with the suggestions in that respect issued in March 2020 by the European Commission.

 

 

DELAY OF PROCEDURAL TERMS AND HEARINGS

 

Suspension of the judicial terms and postponement of hearings in civil and tax proceedings (section 36)

Any procedural term in civil proceedings already suspended from March 9 to April 15, 2020 continues to be suspended up to May 11, 2020 included.

Same suspension continues to apply to the challenge of orders/resolution of the tax authorities before the Tax Commissions.

Exception is made for civil proceedings concerning the urgent protection of personal rights of individuals (e.g. in the matter of alimony, children of minor age, etc), for terms and hearings related to the withholding of enforceability of judgements and, in general, all proceedings where the delay might cause severe damages to the parties (in this case the urgency is declared by the Judge).

Due to strict limitations to the activities of the judicial offices up to June 30, 2020, hearings, if at all urgent, are dealt with in writing or by  video-conference.

Statute of limitation and expiry terms, where they need to be interrupted by a writ of summons or the like which is prevented by the above limitations, do not apply.

 

Suspension of the judicial terms and postponement of hearings in administrative judicial proceedings (section 37) 

Any procedural term in administrative judicial proceedings proceedings already suspended from March 9 to April 15, 2020 continues to be suspended up to May 15, 2020 included.

Notwithstanding the above, decisions in urgent proceedings are taken.

Oral discussions are limited up to June 30, 2020 and there continue to be strict limitations of the activities of the judicial offices up to June 30, 2020.

 

Suspension of the judicial terms and postponement of hearings – Criminal Proceedings (section 36)

The general suspension of terms and hearings is extended up to May 11, 2020 included also in criminal proceedings.

 

(more information available upon request by our criminal law department).

 

 

EXTENSION OF TERMS IN TAX MATTERS AND OTHER TAX PROVISIONS

 

(please refer to your tax advisor for a more detailed and complete information)

The Decree n. 23 provides for several extensions of terms for tax payments, aimed at supporting self employed individuals, professional and businesses. Here are some:

 

No sanctions and interests for payments to public agencies with deadlines on March 16, 2020 – extended to April 16, 2020.

All payments due to public agencies, including taxes social security contributions, expiring on March 16 (term already extended to March 20, 2020) will not accrue any sanction or delay interest up April 16, 2020.

 

Extension of payments terms for VAT, withholdings and other taxes (sections 18)

VAT for March and April 2020, withholding taxes relating to subordinate employees and similar and social security contributions for the months of March and April can be paid in one installment  within June 30, 2020 or in five monthly installments from June, 2020.

The extension is available to

  • enterprises, self-employed individuals and professionals located in Italy with revenues not higher than Euro 50 million in 2019 which had in March and April 2020 a reduction of at least 33% of their turnover with respect to March and April 2019 ( each month should be autonomously considered)
  • enterprises, self-employed individuals and professionals located in Italy with revenues higher than Euro 50 million in 2019 which had in March and April 2020 a reduction of at least 50% of their turnover with respect to March and April 2019 ( each month should be autonomously considered)
  • enterprises, self-employed individuals and professionals located in Italy which started their operations after March 31, 2019 (irrespective of any reference to previous revenues/turnover)
  • enterprises, self-employed individuals and professionals located in the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Lodi e Piacenza, irrespective of their revenues in 2019, which had in March and April 2020 a reduction of at least 50% of their turnover with respect to March and April 2019 (each month should be autonomously considered).

 

No withholding taxes for certain tax payers-revenues (Section 19 – amending section 62 par. 7 of DL n. 18/2020)

Tax-payers with revenues not exceeding Euro 400,000 in calendar year 2019 can avoid to have their revenues obtained from March 17 to May  31, 2020 made subject to the withholding tax applicable to self- employement  revenues or to sale representative or intermediation commissions, provided that they did not incur in costs for employees or the like in the preceding month; the option shall be exercised by way of an appropriate notice;  the unpaid withholdings shall  be paid directly by the tax-payer in one installment within July 31, 2020 or in 5 monthly installments from the month of July, 2020.

 

Calculation of tax advance payments with provisional method (section 20)

All tax payers may estimate the reduction of their revenues in current fiscal year with respect to the previous fiscal year and pay the respective IRPEF, IRES and IRAP advances based on said estimates; should the tax advances so evaluated and paid not be lower than 80% of the tax advance actually due, no interests or sanctions will apply.

 

Tax credit for workplace sanification costs (section 30 – confirming and amending section 64 DL 18/2020)

Anyone carrying out a business or profession is entitled to a tax credit up to Euro 10,000.00 for 50% of the evidenced costs incurred for the sanification of the workplaces and work instruments up to Euro 20,000.00. The criteria for said tax credit will be determined by subsequent Ministry Decrees.

 

Delay of Certificazioni Uniche

No sanctions shall apply to the delay up to April 30, 2020 in forwarding to the Tax authority (Agenzia delle Entrate) and to employees and self- employers the Certificazioni Uniche (due within March 31, 2020).

 

 

[1] Additional details of conditions and requirements to be checked case by case

[2] Additional details to be checked case by case

EMPLOYMENT AND COVID-19 IN ITALY by Paola Parma on GGI’s Newsletter

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https://ggiforum.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=edit&id=1824

Since the beginning of the COVID19 emergency in Italy all employers were recommended to promote smart working to the maximum extent possible as well as to grant holiday leaves to their employees, in order to limit people’s movement throughout the Italian territory.

Prime Minister Decree of March 22, 2020 prohibited starting on March 26 completely the carrying out of any business activity (industrial, commercial and services), except for those deemed essential (as defined by an attached list or by reference to previous laws) and except for those activities to be considered “functional” to the essential ones (upon notification to the government provincial representative –Prefetto).

However, upon pressure by the workers’ associations which deemed it too broad the list of the essential and
tehn authorized activities is in the process of being cut.

Clearly, for activities allowed to continue, employers are required to adapt the working conditions to the pandemic situation; in particular, pursuant to Legislative Decree 81/2008 (Italian general and basic provisions in the matter of work safety and health) the employer must :

  • immediately evaluate the risk of Covid-19 contagion
  • timely adopt the measures fit to minimize the contagion risk
  • inform and train the employees about said risk, the preventive measures and the rules of conduct to be applied
  • operate an active heath surveillance
  • put in place the instruments apt to verify the actual performance of the above measures
  • provide for emergency plans fit to deal any case of contagion
  • make available the financial means adequate for the above

Specific provisions in the matter of health in connection with COVID19 are contained in the Protocol signed between the employers’ and the employee’s associations on March 14, 2020.

The breach of the above provisions (including the omission of the notice to the Prefetto) is a criminal violation for which criminal proceedings will be established against the employer; in cases where one or more employees falls sick because of the employer’s unfulfilment of the due safety and health measures, the employer shall be charged with the crime of culpable personal injuries or negligent manslaughter.

By emergency decree D.L. n. 18 of March 17, 2020, the Italian Government also provided for several extraordinary measures aimed at supporting businesses, families and individuals in the current pandemic situation. With particular regards to employment, the following provisions were enacted:

LIMITATIONS TO EMPLOYMENT TERMINATIONS

No Employment Termination For 60 days from March 17, 2020:

  • no collective dismissal procedure can be commenced and those commenced after February 23 are suspended
  • employers, of any size, cannot terminate any employment due to economic or organizational reasons ( terminations on object justified grounds).

No employment termination for parents of disabled individuals Up to April 30, the employment of the parent of a disabled individual, living in the same house, cannot be terminated on the ground of absence from work, provided that such justified absence due to the closing of the centers for disabled people, be previously notified to the employer.

ACCESS TO WAGES SUPPLEMENT FUNDS ON AN EXTRAORDINARY BASIS FOR SUBSTANTIALLY ANY KIND OF EMPLOYER AND WITH SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURES

Admission to CIGO and “assegno ordinario”. Employers suspending or reducing their activity in connection with the pandemic COVID 19 are admitted to apply to Cassa Integrazione Guadagni Ordinaria -CIGO ( Ordinary Wages Supplement Fund) or to “assegno ordinario” ( another wages supplement fund) “for COVID-19 emergency”, for periods in 2020 of maximum 9 weeks altogether, starting from 23 February 2020.Urgent application and information /consultation procedures are provided for; CIGO and “assegno ordinario” periods connected to COVID 19 do not account for the limits of duration of the granting of the mentioned funds; other special and favorable provisions apply.

CIG for employers being already in CIGS. Employers who on February 23, 2020 are already admitted to CIGS ( Extraordinary Wages Supplement Fund) are admitted to apply to CIG (Wages Supplement Fund ) for a period not exceeding 9 weeks, to replace CIGS also for the same employees. Urgent application and information /consultation procedures are provided for, as well as other exceptions.

Admission to special CIG ( CIG “in deroga”) Employers (except for housework) which would not normally be admitted to any wage supplement fund may apply to a special wages supplement fund for their employees (employed of February 23,2020) for a period not exceeding 9 weeks. Applications should be addressed to the Regional (or Autonomous Province) offices. A previous agreement with the employees organizations is required (also by telematics means), except by employers of up to 5 employees. Payments are made by INPS (Social Security Agency) directly. Applications are granted on a first to apply first to be allowed basis.

SPECIAL LEAVE PERIODS (UP TO 15 DAYS) HAVE BEEN PROVIDED FOR PARENTS- EMPLOYEES INCLUDING SELF EMPLOYED

Special Children Leave for subordinate employees (with allowance). From 5 March 2020, all private sector employees parents are entitled, for a period not exceeding 15 days, to benefit from a special leave for their children -up to the age of 12 (or without age limit in case of disabled children)-with an allowance of 50% of the salary. Either parent is entitled, provided that both are employed and no one of them is the beneficiary of other support allowances.

Special Children Leave for self- employed individuals registered in the special section of INPS (gestione separata INPS) or registered with INPS (with allowance). From 5 March 2020, self employed parents registered with “gestione separata INPS” or with INPS– e.g. not professionals such as lawyers, CPS’s etc –are entitled, for a period not exceeding 15 days, to benefit from a special leave for their children up to the age of 12 (or without age limit in case of disabled children), with a daily allowance of 50% of 1/365 of their income (as calculated for the purpose of the maternity leave allowance or as calculated in accordance with criteria established by the law, depending on the case). Either parent is entitled, provided that both are employed and no one of them is the beneficiary of other support allowances.

Special Children Leave (without allowance) From 5 March 2020, all employees parents of children between 12 and 16 are entitled to a leave of absence, for the duration of the closing of schools, without allowance; employment remains guaranteed and termination is forbidden meanwhile. Either parent is entitled, provided that both are employed and no one of them is the beneficiary of support allowances.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE CONNECTED WITH THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY

Quarantine period as sick leave. The quarantine or fiduciary quarantine period, as certified by the competent medical doctor (“medico curante “), is treated as sick leave to economic purposes but is not accounted for the maximum sick leave period (“periodo di comporto”)

Absence as sick leave Up to April 30 disabled employee or with certified medical risks are entitled to a leave of absence considered as hospitalization

SPECIAL ONE-TIME ALLOWANCES, FUNDS AND EXTENSIONS

Baby sitting bonus From March 17, as an alternative to the special children leave, employees parents (including self-employed parents not registered with INPS-i.e. including professionals ) are entitled to an allowance of Maximum Euro 600.00 for babysitting services. Applications are ruled by INPS.

Special allowance for VAT professionals and CO.CO.CO Professional with a VAT number and Co.Co.Co. (self- employed individuals on a continuous cooperation basis), who are not retired or not enrolled with other mandatory pension funds, who are active as of February 23,2020, are entitled to a Euro 600.00 allowance for the month of March, paid by INPS upon application.

Extraordinary bonus for employees continuing working on premises Each employee, having a salary not exceeding 40.000 Euro/year, working on premises is entitled to an extraordinary bonus up to euro 100 depending on how many days he/she worked in March 2020. The bonus is paid by the employer with the April 2020 salary and in any case within the term for the end of the year balance calculations.

Tax credit for workplace sanification costs Anyone carrying out a business or profession is entitled to a tax credit up to Euro 20,000 equal to 50% of the evidenced costs incurred for the sanification of the workplaces and work instruments. The criteria for said tax credit will be determined within 30 days by a Ministry Decree.

Extension of the terms for application for unemployment indemnities The term for applying for unemployment indemnity is extended from 68 to 128 days for termination events occurred in 2020.

Fondo per il Reddito di Ultima Istanza A special fund has been established in favor of subordinate employees and self-employed individuals who, as a consequence of the COVID 19 emergency, reduced, stopped or suspended their work. The Ultimate Income Fund amounts to Euro 300 million for the year 2020. The criteria of allocation of said fund among applicants will be determined within 30 days by a Ministry Decree.

The Italian Government is continuously “updating” the provisions aimed addressing the behavior of the citizen and businesses at containing the impact of the pandemic and at limiting its the impact on the economy. We all hope it works!

The Italian Government emergency decree D.L. n. 18 of March 17, 2020: the first extraordinary measures aimed at supporting businesses, families and individuals in the pandemic situation.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO BUSINESSES

 

Art. 49 Fondo centrale di garanzia PMI

For 9 months from March 17, 2020 some financial aids are provided for small and medium size businesses such as gratuitous guarantees for loans.

 

Art. 50-53 Other financial aids

Other facilitations of bank and other financing are specifically provided for.

 

Art. 56 Suspension of re-payments of loans and financial leases for small and medium size businesses PMI

The re-payment of loans and financial leases granted by banks and other financial institutions to PMI or micro-businesses is suspended up to September 30, 2020 The credit lines granted “until revocation” and the advance on receivables cannot be revoked until September 30, 2020.

In all cases it is required a self-certification that the business had a partial or total reduction of its activities due to the pandemic.

 

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO AUTONOMOUS WORKERS WITH VAT NUMBER

 

Art. 54 Suspension of re-payment terms for first residence loans

Autonomous workers and professionals holding a VAT number are entitled ,upon request, to the postponement of the installments of their first residence loan due to a loss in their turnover in a quarter after February 21,2020 exceeding 33% with respect to the last quarter of 2019.

 

 

EXTENSION OF TERMS FOR TAX AND OTHER PAYMENTS AND TAX ACCOMPLISHMENTS  

 

Besides a general extension of all payments to public agencies (Art. 60)  including social security contributions, with terms expiring on March 16 up to March 20, 2020, the Decree provides for several specific extensions of terms for tax payments, aimed at supporting individuals, families and businesses in the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Here are some:

 

Art. 62, par. 2, 3 e 7 Extension of payment terms for “small” tax- payers and tax-payer located in certain “red zones”

All tax payers with revenues not exceeding Euro 2,000,000.00 are entitled to an extension up to June 1, 2020 of the term of payments due between March 8 and March 31,2020 as to VAT, additional IRPEF, witholdings on employees’ income , INPS and INAIL contributions  [at least those due by the employer]; said payments shall be made in one installment on June 1, 2020  or in five monthly installments from June 1, 2020.

Tax-payers having their registered or operating office in the Bergamo Cremona, Lodi and Piacenza provinces are entitled to the above VAT payment term extension, whichever their amount of revenues.

The revenues obtained from March 8 to March 31, 2020 by tax-payers with revenues not exceeding Euro 400,000 in calendar year 2019, are not subject to the withholding tax applicable to self employee revenues or to sale representative or intermediation commissions, provided that they did not incur in costs for employees or the like in the preceding month; the unpaid withholdings shall  be paid directly by the tax-payer in one installment within May 31, 2020 or in 5 monthly installments from May 31,2020.

 

Art. 62 par. 1 General delay of tax accomplishments

All tax accomplishments (different from payments and from withholdings) such as, without limitation, Intrastat, annual VAT return, expiring from March 8,2020 3 to May 31, 2020 are delayed up to June 30, 2020. Certificazioni Uniche for employees are however due within March 31, 2020.

 

Art. 68 Extension of the terms for certain tax payments expiring between March 8, 2020 and May 31, 2020

Tax payments expiring between March 8, 2020 and May 31, 2020 relating to

Cartelle di pagamento issued by collecting agents

Avvisi di accertamento esecutivi issued by Agenzia delle Entrate (Tax agency)

– Avvisi di addebito issued by social security agnecies

– Atti di accertamento esecutivi issued by Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli;

shall be made within June 30, 2020.

Apparently no extension applies to avvisi bonari e or to payments in installments of cartelle esattoriali.

 

Art. 65 Tax credit for shop lease contracts

Those carrying out a business activity (with the exclusion of those activities allowed to continue pursuant to Prime Minister Decree of March 11, 2020-Attachment 1 and 2, i.e. supermarkets, groceries stores, pharmacies) are entitled to a tax credit equal to 60% of the March 2020 lease fees paid for leased shops. Apparently, the tax credit does not apply to the leases of ongoing business.

(please refer to your tax advisor for a more detailed and complete information)

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

All employers, except for those carrying out essential activities, had already been invited by previous decrees to promote smart working to the maximum extent possible as well as to grant  holiday leaves to their employees to limit people’s movement throughout the national territory.

Employers continuing activities on premises are required to adapt the working conditions to the pandemic situation; in particular, pursuant to Legislative Decree 81/2008 (Italian general and basic provisions in the matter of work safety and health) the employer must:

– immediately evaluate the risk of Covid-19 contagion

– timely adopt the measures fit to minimize the contagion risk

– inform and train the employees about said risk, the preventive measures and the rules of conduct to be applied

– operate an active heath surveillance

– put in place the instruments apt to verify the actual performance of the above measures

– provide for emergency plans fit to deal any case of contagion

– make available the financial means adequate for the above

The government signed with the employees unions on March 14, 2020 a Protocol establishing more in details the measure to be taken (see attached).

 

Art. 19  Admission to CIGO and “assegno ordinario”

Employers suspending or reducing their activity in connection with the pandemic COVID 19 are admitted to apply to Cassa Integrazione Guadagni Ordinaria -CIGO ( Ordinary Wages Supplement  Fund)  or to “assegno ordinario” ( another wages supplement fund  “for COVID-19 emergency”, for periods in 2020 of maximum 9 weeks altogether, starting from 23 February 2020.Urgent application and information /consultation procedures are provided for;  CIGO and “assegno ordinario” periods connected to COVID 19 do not account for the limits of duration of the granting of the mentioned funds; other special and favorable provisions apply.

 

Art. 20 CIG for employers being already in CIGS

Employers who on February 23, 2020 are already admitted to CIGS (Extraordinary  Wages Supplement  Fund) are admitted to apply to CIG (Wages Supplement Fund) for a period not exceeding 9 weeks, to replace CIGS also for the same employees. Urgent application and information /consultation procedures are provided for, as well as other exceptions.

 

Art. 22 Admission to special CIG ( CIG “in deroga”)

Employers (except for housework) which would not normally be admitted to any wage supplement fund may apply to a special wages supplement fund for their employees (employed of February 23,2020) for a period not exceeding 9 weeks. Applications should be addressed to the Regional (or Autonomous Province) offices. A previous agreement with the employees organizations is required (also by telematics means), except by employers of up to 5 employees. Payments are made by INPS (Social Security Agency) directly. Applications are granted on a first to apply first to be allowed basis.

 

Art. 23 Special Children Leave for subordinate employees (with allowance)

From 5 March 2020, all private sector employees parents are entitled, for a period not exceeding 15 days, to benefit from a special leave for their children -up to the age of 12 (or without age limit in case of disabled children)-with an allowance of 50% of the salary. Either parent is entitled, provided that both are employed and no one of them is the beneficiary of other support allowances.

 

Art. 23 Special Children Leave for self- employed individuals registered in the special section of INPS (gestione separata INPS) or registered with INPS (with allowance)

From 5 March 2020, self employed parents registered with “gestione separata INPS” or with INPS– e.g. not professionals such as lawyers, CPS’s etc –are entitled, for a period not exceeding 15 days, to benefit from a special leave for their children up to the age of 12 (or without age limit in case of disabled children), with a daily allowance of 50% of 1/365 of their income (as calculated for the purpose of the maternity leave allowance or as calculated in accordance with criteria established by the law, depending on the case). Either parent is entitled, provided that both are employed and no one of them is the beneficiary of other support allowances.

 

Art. 23 Special Children Leave (without allowance)

From 5 March 2020, all employees parents of children between 12 and 16 are entitled to a leave of absence, for the duration of the closing of schools, without allowance; employment remains guaranteed and termination is forbidden meanwhile. Either parent is entitled, provided that both are employed and no one of them is the beneficiary of support allowances.

 

Art. 23 Baby sitting bonus

From March 17, as an alternative to the special children leave, employees parents  (including self-employed parents not registered with INPS-i.e.  including professionals ) are entitled to an allowance of Maximum Euro 600.00 for babysitting services. Applications are ruled by INPS.

 

Art. 26 Quarantine period as sick leave

The quarantine or fiduciary quarantine period, as certified by the competent medical doctor (“medico curante “),  is treated as sick leave to economic purposes but is not accounted for the maximum sick leave period (“periodo di comporto”).

 

Art. 26 Absence as sick leave

Up to April 30 disabled employee or with certified medical risks are entitled to a leave of absence considered as hospitalization.

 

Art. 27 Special allowance for VAT professionals and CO.CO.CO

Professional with a VAT number and Co.Co.Co. (self- employed individuals on a continuous cooperation basis), who are not retired or not enrolled with other mandatory pension funds, who are active as of February 23,2020, are entitled to a Euro 600.00 allowance for the month of March, paid by INPS upon application.

 

Art. 33 Extension of the terms for application for unemployment indemnities

The term for applying for unemployment indemnity is extended from 68 to 128 days for termination events occurred in 2020.

 

Art. 44 Fondo per il Reddito di Ultima Istanza

A special fund has been established in favor of subordinate employees and self-employed individuals who, as a consequence of the COVID 19 emergency reduced, stopped or suspended their work. The Ultimate Income Fund amounts to Euro 300 million for the year 2020. The criteria of allocation of said fund among applicants will be determined within 30 days by a Ministry Decree.

 

Art. 46 No Employment Termination

For 60 days from March 17, 2020:

– no collective dismissal procedure can be commenced and those commenced after February 23 are suspended

– employers, of any size, cannot terminate any employment due to economic or organizational reasons (terminations on object justified grounds).

 

Art. 47 No employment termination for parents of disabled individuals

Up to April 30, the employment of  the parent of a disabled individual, living in the same house, cannot be terminated on the ground of absence from work, provided that such justified absence due to the closing of the centers for disabled people, be previously notified to the employer.

 

Art. 63 Extraordinary bonus for employees continuing working on premises

Each employee, having a salary not exceeding 40.000 Euro/year, working on premises is entitled to an extraordinary bonus up to euro 100 depending on how many days he/she worked in March 2020. The bonus is paid by the employer with the April 2020 salary and in any case within the term for the end of the year balance calculations.

 

Art. 64 Tax credit for workplace sanification costs

Anyone carrying out a business or profession is entitled to a tax credit up to Euro 20,000 equal to 50% of the evidenced costs incurred for the sanification of the workplaces and work instruments. The criteria for said tax credit will be determined within 30 days by a Ministry Decree.

 

(more information by our labor law specialists available upon request)

 

 

COMPANIES, ASSOCIATIONS AND FOUNDATIONS 

 

Art. 106 Delay of the shareholders’ meetings for the approval of the yearly accounts-Telecommunication means and other simplifications  

Notwithstanding any provision of the by-laws, all companies may approve their annual accounts within 180 days as of the end of their fiscal year, without need for specific reasons.

In joint stock companies(spa), limited liability companies (srl), società in accomandita per azioni (sapa) (partnerships limited by shares) and cooperative companies, shareholders may attend the meetings by telecommunications means, notwithstanding any different provision of the by-laws, with no need for the president, the secretary and the notary, if any , to be present in the same place. Moreover, limited liability company may enter quotaholders decisions by written exchange of consent even in cases where the Civile Code or the by-laws would not allow it ( e.g. to amendment to the by-laws, to resolve upon transactions substantially changing the corporate purpose).

 

Art. 73 Meetings by telecommunication means for associations and foundations

Until the end of the emergency the private associations (including those not even not formally recognized) and the foundations, notwithstanding the lack of provision in their articles of association, may hold their meetings in videoconferences, provided that attendees could be identified and transparency be guaranteed.

 

 

DELAY OF TERMS AND HEARINGS

 

ART. 83 Suspension of the judicial terms and postponement of hearings-Civil and tax proceedings 

From March 9, 2020 up to April 15, 2020 included, all hearings in the civil proceedings are postponed to a date after April 15, 2020.

Any procedural term in civil proceedings is suspended between March 9 and April 15, 2020. Same suspension applies to the challenge of orders/resolution of the tax authorities before the tax commissions.

Exception is made for civil proceedings concerning the urgent protection of personal rights of individuals (e.g. in the matter of alimony, children of minor age etc), terms and hearings related to the withholding of enforceability of judgements and, in general, all proceedings where the delay might cause severe damages to the parties (in this case the urgency is declared by the Judge).

There are strict limitations to the activities of the judicial offices up to June 30, 2020.

Statute of limitation and expiry terms, where they need to be interrupted by a writ of summons or the like which is prevented by the above limitations, do not apply.

 

Art. 84 Suspension of the judicial terms and postponement of hearings-Administrative judicial proceedings

From March 8 to April 15 April, 2020 included, all the terms of the administrative judicial proceedings are suspended and all hearings postponed. Notwithstanding the above, decisions in urgent proceedings are taken. Oral discussions are limited up to June 30, 2020.

There are strict limitations of the activities of the judicial offices up to June 30, 2020.

Statute of limitation and expiry terms, where they need to be interrupted by a writ of summons or the likewhich is prevented by the above limitations, do not apply.

 

Art. 103 Suspension of the terms in administrative proceedings and authorizations

In administrative proceedings pending as of February 23, 2020, the period of time between February 23 and April 15 is not taken into account ( e.g. for the purposes of the so called silent acceptance or silent denial, etc).

The validity of certificates, authorizations and the like is extended up to June 15, 2020.

The enforcement of the release of real estate, including non residential, is withheld up to June 30, 2020.

 

ART. 83 Suspension of the judicial terms and postponement of hearings –Criminal Proceedings

A general suspension of terms and hearings from March 9, 2020 up to April 15, 2020 similar to that for civil proceedings and except for urgent is established also in criminal proceedings.

The delay includes, without limitation, also the phase of preliminary inquiries (indagini preliminari), the issuance of judicial decisions and motivations thereof.

During the mentioned period the statute of limitation terms and the preventive custody (custodia cautelare) and enforcement and disqualification measures (misure coercitive and interdittive) terms do not run.

Are exempted from the suspension, by way of example, the confirmations of custody (convalida di arresto e fermo) and the procedures where pre-emptive and security measures (misure cautelari o di sicurezza) are applied, as well as urgent proceedings or where it is necessary to take evidence with urgency.

The chiefs of the judicial offices may postpone all hearings up to June 30, 2020, except for urgent cases.

(more information available upon request by our criminal law department).

 

 

 

CONTRACTS WITH THE PUBLIC ADMINSITRATIONS

 

Art. 91 Contracts with Public Administrations

The compliance with the urgent measures provided for by DL n.6 of February 23, 2020 shall always be taken into account for the purpose of excluding the liability of the obliged party/debtor pursuant to sections 1218 and 1223 of the Civil Code and for the purpose of the expiry of rights or penalties connected to contractual delays or defaults.