The Sostegni ter Decree (Law Decree n. 4/2022, the so-called “Decreto Sostegni ter”) has introduced numerous updates and modifications, including amendments to the provisions for the reorganisation of regulations on shock absorbers in addition to expanding State Aid in order to offer greater support measures for enterprises and activities that were severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
New Law Decree n. 4/2022, the so-called “Decreto Sostegni ter” provides for the –
I. Reorganisation of Regulations on Shock Absorbers
The Sostegni ter Decree (Law Decree n. 4/2022, the so-called “Decreto Sostegni ter”) has introduced numerous updates and modifications to Legislative Decree 148/2015, regarding provisions for the reorganisation of regulations on shock absorbers. The most important reforms are summarised below:
- in the event of direct payment of shock absorbers from the employer, the latter is obliged, under penalty of forfeiture, to send to the Italian Social Body (INPS) all relevant data by the end of the second month following the month in which the shock absorbers are granted, or, if later, within the term of 60 days of notification of the authorisation measure regarding the shock absorbers. If these terms are not met, the payment of the shock absorbers and the related charges remain in charge of the defaulting employer.
- for 2022, the social shock absorbers treatment is provided even for company reorganisation or crisis; previously the treatment could be granted only in relation to for the extension of the shock absorber treatment subject to solidarity contract.
- workers who carry out subordinate work for 6 months or more, as well as self-employment during the period of shock absorbers, are not entitled to receive the treatment of the social shock absorbers for the days worked. Should the worker carry out subordinate work for a fixed-term period of fewer than 6 months, the shock absorbers treatment is suspended for the duration of the employment relationship.
- starting from January 1, 2022, for periods of suspension or reduction of work, the relevant shock absorbers, is recognised according to the criteria and for the durations indicated below:
- to employers who, in the six months before the date of submission of the application to request the advantage of the shock absorber, have employed an average of up to 5 employees, for a maximum duration of 13 weeks in a rolling two-year period;
- to employers who, in the six months before the date of submission of the application to request the advantage of the shock absorber, have employed an average of more than 5 employees, for a maximum duration of 26 weeks in a two-year rolling period.
- starting from January 1, 2022 for periods of suspension or reduction of work, the bilateral solidarity funds ensure the provision of a shock absorbers for an amount at least equal to that defined for ordinary and extraordinary shock absorbers (maximum amount 1.199 euro) and establish the duration of the service at least equal to the shock absorbers treatments (maximum duration of 52 weeks for CIGO- ordinary shock absorber-, and 24 for CIGS – extraordinary shock absorber), depending on the size of the company and the reason invoked, and in any case in compliance with the maximum overall duration provided for by the various regulations relating to these two institutions.
II. Expansion of State Aid
- the limit of the maximum amount to state aid is increased from 1.8 to 2.3 million euros.
- for companies operating in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, the limit has been raised to 345,000 euros and for companies operating in the primary production of agricultural products to 290,000 euros.
- the maximum amount of state aid is raised from 10 to 12 million for enterprises particularly affected by the crisis resulting from the pandemic, with turnover losses of at least 30% in the eligible period (the period between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2022) compared to the same period in 2019.
- under European law, an enterprise must be understood to be a “single enterprise” as defined in “de minimis” Regulation 1407/2013.
A. Measures for Activities Closed Due to the Covid-19 Crisis:
- a double intervention in favour of dance halls, discos and similar premises closed by decree until the end of January. It allocates 20 million euros in favour of the activities closed as of January 27, 2022 (date of entry into force of this decree).
- the retail sector is also the recipient of specific facilities. In fact the law decree recognises a non-repayable contribution in favour of retail businesses covered by specific codes of the ATECO classification of economic activities (i.e. Retail sale of watches and jewelry in specialised stores, retail sale of automotive fuel in specialised). The non-repayable contribution is only available to companies with a reported 2019 revenue amount of no more than €2 million and that have experienced a reduction in revenues in 2021 of no less than 30% compared to 2019.
- it also provides for support measures for economic activities particularly affected by the epidemiological emergency: 20 million euros, for the year 2022, in favour of theme parks, aquariums, geological parks and zoos.
B. Measures for Tourism:
- the decree also contains a substantial package of measures in favour of the tourism sector.
- it increases the Single National Tourism Fund by 100 million euros for the year 2022.
- exemptions from contributions to fixed-term employment or seasonal employment contracts in the tourism and spa sectors, falling within the period included between January 1, 2022, and March 31, 2022. The incentive has a duration equal to the period of the contracts stipulated, not exceeding 3 months.
- in the event of conversion of said contracts into open-ended subordinate employment contracts, the exemption is recognised for a maximum period of 6 months from the conversion.