Certain aspects of Antivirus‘ Regime C
The chamber of deputies passed a bill on the waiver of social security premiums for the second time, after the senate had returned the bill back for discussion among deputies. The amendment extends the Antivirus programme by long-awaited Regime C, partially waiving social security payments made by employers. Below we draw attention to certain requirements that will have to be met by employers to apply for support under Regime C.
Support under Regime C involves the waiver of part of social security premiums and state unemployment policy contributions that are mandatorily paid by employers (i.e. 24.8% of the aggregate income of their employees) for June to August 2020, which in practice means that the amount of premiums paid on behalf of employees does not change. Under Regime C, employers may reduce their aggregate assessment base; however, there are two exceptions: it is not possible to deduct an assessment base higher than CZK 52,253 per employee, i.e. more than 1.5multiple of the average wage set for social security purposes for 2020, or to deduct an assessment base for an employee to whom the employer has given notice of termination of employment for organisational reasons under 52(a) to (c) of the Labour Code. Moreover, the entitlement for the waiver of part of social security premiums under other conditions specified below does not apply to employers from the public sector, certain providers of health services and employers who were not tax residents of the CR, EU or EEA on 1 June 2020.
Other conditions that are to be met by employers to claim the waiver under Regime C are as follows:
- on the last day of the calendar month, the employer employs a maximum of 50 employees that are under employment relationship and participate in the sickness insurance scheme. The maximum number of employees also includes employees that are under employment relationship but do not work, for example, due to maternity/parental leave, unpaid leave or other impediments to work as well as employees who have been given notice of termination of employment. The number of employees under employment relationship is determined at the end of each calendar month to which Regime C applies (i.e. June to August) and may not decrease by more than 10% compared with the number of employees at 31 March and, simultaneously, the aggregate of assessment bases of employees under employment relationship for an individual month to which Regime C applies may not decrease by more than 10% compared with the aggregate of assessment bases of such employees for March 2020;
- the employer must pay premiums on behalf of employees (equalling 6.5% of assessment bases) for the relevant calendar months in a due and timely manner (by the 20th day of the following month) and in the amount specified in a statement for a relevant month;
- in the calendar month to which the waiver under Regime C applies, the employer may not draw any other partial wage compensation under Regime A and Regime B of the Antivirus programme. But even those employers who have been granted the waiver under the above conditions may claim the entitlement to reduce penalties relating social security premiums in accordance with relevant law.
In practice, employers themselves will assess whether they meet the criteria for claiming the waiver of social security premiums and will calculate the premium amount they will have to pay. Subsequently, the waiver will be claimed via the ‘Statement of premiums’ form sent to the appropriate District Social Security Administration office. Similarly as in the case of other COVID-related aid, employers communicate with the office solely in an electronic form.
The waiver cannot be claimed retrospectively: employers may not additionally claim the waiver of premiums where they have already filed their statements of premiums for June to August and such a waiver has not been claimed within the filed statement, and where they learn later on that they may have deducted a higher assessment base for a particular employee. In contrast, if after filing the statement the employer learns that the assessment base of an employee by which the employer reduced the aggregate of assessment bases was higher than claimed in such a month, a new statement of premiums for a particular month must be filed.