The owners of Polish clothing, footwear, accessories and other brands have come together to take actions that will contribute to saving Polish companies, and thus the jobs of hundreds of thousands of employees, as well as a whole host of co-operators working with them on a daily basis. The association worked out common postulates which were addressed in a letter to Jadwiga Emilewicz, Minister for Development. In the light of current situation, immediate support from the State is necessary.
Polish companies, with a long family tradition, have faced a disaster. After the stores shutdown following the introduction of the state of epidemic threat, the companies have lost their ability to continue operating practically overnight. In the short term perspective, this will entail a drastic drop in revenue and difficulties in covering all liabilities, in not-so-distant future – spectacular bankruptcies, and thus the loss of jobs for hundreds of thousands of employees and a lack of orders for thousands of subcontractors and other cooperating companies.
Without immediate help from the State, companies that have been the pride of the Polish economy for years and a showcase on foreign markets will not survive the crisis and thousands of people will be left unemployed. That is why the Association addressed the government and presented the postulates in a letter, indicating target areas and proposals for discussion and elaboration of ultimate solutions.
The key postulates are:
1. Elaborating transitional solutions for the time of recession and coming out of recession consisting in restoring trade on Sundays. We are convinced that restoring trade on Sunday will not exert a negative impact on the state budget, but rather result in a significant increase in revenues for our industry and, consequently, in an increase in budget revenues.
2. Introducing regulations allowing for the reduction of working hours with a proportional reduction of wages (a solution already applied in some countries). Some part of the reduced remuneration may be covered by the Guaranteed Employees Benefits Fund (FGŚP). The solution will render it possible to quickly restore the potential after the crisis.
3. Introducing the possibility of extending the working time reference period to 12 months (including the system of equivalent working time) at the employer’s discretion.
4. For the time of recession and coming out of recession, waiving the application of the provisions of the Act of 13 March 2003 on special rules of termination of employment relationships with employees for reasons not related to employees, in relation to entrepreneurs whose activity has been significantly reduced as a result of the Regulation of the Minister for Health of 13 March 2020 on declaring a state of epidemic threat on the territory of the Republic of Poland. The condition for waiving the application of the aforementioned provisions in respect of an entrepreneur is maintaining at least half of the employment level (as compared to the state as of 13 March 2020) for a period of 12 months and a commitment to restoring the employment level to 75% (as compared to the state as of 13 March 2020) within 12 months from 1 January of the year in which Poland’s GDP will be at the level of the 2019 GDP.
5. In the event of failure to meet the postulates indicated in points 1 to 4 above, the adoption of regulations enabling the government to participate in covering the costs of salaries of employees for the period of non-performance of work due to the shutdown of shopping centres and covering sick pay from the first day of sick leave and postponing the payment of social security contributions calculated for the period of the epidemic threat by 6 months.
6. Deferring VAT payments charged for the period of an epidemic threat by 6 months.
7. Adopting regulations obliging banks to make long-term revolving credit facilities available based on the results of 2019 and 2018 and to providing appropriate bank guarantees in order to secure settlements with contractors in international and domestic relations.
8. Mobilising State-guaranteed long-term loans to companies whose liquidity is threatened by reduced sales during a virus pandemic.
9. Laying down and implementing provisions ensuring the transfer of funds to natural persons in order to secure their daily subsistence. We are convinced that activation of demand-side measures will constitute an important strengthening factor in increasing sales by retail companies.
List of Members:
BIG STAR Ltd
CCC, Gino Rossi
Sowa Sp. J.
Inglot Sp z o.o. Inglot
KAN Sp. z o. o. (Tatuum)
Kazar Sp z o.o.
LPP SA (Reserved, Mohito, Cropp, House, Sinsay)
Wojas Sp z o.o. Wojas
VRG S.A. (Wólczanka, Kruk, Vistula, Deni Cler, Bytom)
4F OTCF Sp z o.o.