Sostegni Decree, 32 billion to address the Covid emergency. Forecasts for work, health and safety

Published the text of the long-awaited dl Sostegni (decree n. 41-2021), approved on March 19 by the Council of Ministers. territorial services, connected to the COVID-19 emergency, contains numerous interventions in the field of work and the fight against poverty, intervenes, with an allocation of about 32 billion euros, equal to the maximum amount of the budget variance already authorized by Parliament, in order to strengthen the tools to combat the spread of the COVID-19 contagion and to contain the social and economic impact of the prevention measures adopted.

The objective of the new decree is to ensure a renewed and enhanced support system, calibrated according to the timeliness and intensity of protection that each subject requires. Support, refreshments, so once again the government has chosen to use this route when it would be appropriate to make available tools that stimulate the investments of companies.

An example: the decree in question should have included a series of corrections to the Transition Plan 4.0, which due to lack of financial availability, were excluded, and which should have corrected errors and  inconsistencies in the Plan dismissed by Parliament in the last Budget Law and dissolve the shell knot. The purpose of these changes, which should be included in a new decree of the Draghi government apparently soon to be issued in April, is to respond to the requests of Brussels, which invited Italy to adopt functional interventions for the digital transition of the Italian industry, as well as giving new impetus to corporate investments, stability and certainty.

But let's analyze the structure of the Decree and the main measures of interest for companies.

The 5 areas of intervention of the new decree

The text of the new decree provides for a subdivision of the measures, implemented on the basis of 5 areas of intervention:

● support for businesses and third sector operators;

● work and fight against poverty;

● health and safety;

● support for local authorities;

● further sectoral interventions

1 # support for businesses and third sector operators

Non-repayable contributions (Article 1)

The decree provides for a non -repayable grant for subjects with a VAT number who carry out business, art or profession activities, as well as for non-commercial and third sector entities. Grants are granted without any sectoral limitation or restriction on the classification of the economic activities concerned, as the ATECO codes have been eliminated. For these interventions, the overall budget amounts to over 11 billion euros .

Those who have suffered a loss of turnover, between 2019 and 2020, equal to at least 30% , calculated on the average monthly value, may submit a request. The new mechanism admits companies with revenues of up to 10 million euros. The contribution can be paid by bank transfer directly to the current account in the name of the beneficiary or as a tax credit, to be used exclusively in compensation. Applications, managed by the Revenue Agency, can be submitted from March 30 to May 28, 2021 .

Refreshments start at a minimum of € 1,000 for individuals, 2,000 for legal entities and up to a maximum of € 150,000. Companies will be able to access the compensation in these percentages:

  • 60% for companies up to 100 thousand euros
  • 50% between 100 thousand and 400 thousand euros
  • 40% between 400 thousand and one million
  • 30% between one and 5 million
  • 20% between 5 and 10 million

Also in Article 1 on state aid, paragraphs 13 to 17, it is possible to benefit from some aid measures authorized by the European Commission, or for which authorization by the European Commission is required, also on the basis of Section 3.12 ("Aid in the form of support for non-covered fixed costs") of the Temporary Framework for State aid if the conditions are met, when the ceilings provided for in Section 3.1 ("Aid of limited amount") are not sufficient and would jeopardize therefore the effective right to use the aid admissible on the basis of national legislation.

Specifically, the possibility to choose whether to apply Section 3.1 or Section 3.12 is provided for:

art. 24 of the Relaunch decree (Legislative Decree 34/2020) - Cancellation of the payment of the 2019 Irap balance and of the first installment of the 2020 advance;

art. 25 of the Relaunch decree, arts. 1, 1-bis, 1-ter of the Refreshments decree (DL 137/2020), art. 2 of the Christmas decree (DL 172/2020) and paragraphs 1 to 9 of art. 1 of the same Sostegni decree - Non-repayable contributions;

art. 28 of the Relaunch decree, arts. 8 and 8-bis of the Refreshments decree and article 2-bis of the Christmas decree - Tax credit for the rents of non-residential properties and business leases;

art. 120 of the Relaunch Decree - Tax credit for the adaptation of work environments;

art. 129-bis of the Relaunch Decree - Provisions on direct taxes and excise duties in the Municipality of Campione d'Italia;

art. 177 of the Relaunch decree, paragraphs 1 and 3 of art. 78 of the August decree (DL 104/2020), arts. 9, 9-bis, 9-ter, paragraph 1 of the Ristori decree, art. 1, paragraphs from 599 to 602 of the 2021 Budget Law (Law 178/2020) - Exemptions from the IMU.

The task of defining the implementation procedures is delegated to a decree of the Minister of Economy and Finance.

Paragraph 17 specifies that for the purposes of the provision, the definition of a single company contained in the European regulations on state aid "de minimis" applies.

# 2 work and fight against poverty

Redundancy fund and layoffs

The redundancy fund with Covid reason is extended for the whole of 2021 thanks to the allocation of 3.3 billion euros: companies with ordinary redundancy fund will be able to request 13 weeks between April 1st and June 30th 2021 with Covid reason, and do so without contribution additional .

The cig weeks are a maximum of 28 and can be used from April to 31 December 2021. Workers who are not protected by ordinary shock absorbers but, on the contrary, receive the solidarity check or the cash in derogation can benefit from them.

The Support Decree also provides for the refinancing of the Social Fund for employment and training, a specific loan for the airport sector and the integration of the extraordinary redundancy fund for former ILVA employees.

The freeze on layoffs has been extended until 30 June .

3 # Health and safety

Vaccines and drugs

Article 20 ( paragraphs 7 to 11 ) provides for "financial concessions in support of private investments" with the aim of "encouraging the enhancement of research and the industrial reconversion of the biopharmaceutical sector towards the production of new drugs and vaccines to cope with nationally, emerging infectious diseases, in addition to the most common ones, also through the creation of highly specialized centers ". The operations will be carried out using development contracts. The allocation for this measure, which is certainly of interest to companies, amounts to 200 million for the year 2021.

4 # support for local authorities

Fund for the support of economic activities particularly affected by the epidemiological emergency

Article 26 establishes a Fund of 200 million euros, to be divided between the Regions and the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano, to be allocated to support the economic categories particularly affected from the COVID-19 emergency, including businesses operating commercial or catering activities operating in historic centers and businesses operating in the sector of weddings and private events.

Framework regime for the adoption of state aid measures for the Covid-19 emergency

With regard to the Temporary Framework, Article 28 adapts the Italian legislation to the new ceilings included in the last amendment of last January 28 (Article 28) in order to align the provisions of the framework regime thatmainly relate to the extension of the aid measures until 3.12.2021 and the raising of the thresholds for granting aid. These regulatory changes to the framework regime were necessary to allow the Regions, PA, Local Authorities and Chambers of Commerce to be able to extend the aid measures currently in force until the end of 2021 or to adopt new aid measures until 31.12.2021 , in order to continue to support the economy still severely troubled by the consequences of the pandemic.

5 # Other urgent provisions

Support for large companies Article 37

provides for the establishment of a fund of 200 million for large companies in difficulty.

The Opera Fund grants aid in the form of subsidized loans with a duration of 5 years in favor of large companies that find themselves in a situation of temporary financial difficulty in relation to the economic crisis connected with the Covid emergency.

Companies that have prospective cash flows that are inadequate to regularly meet planned obligations or that are in a situation of "difficulty" as defined in art. 2, point 18, of Regulation (EU) no. 651/2014, but which present prospects for a recovery in activity. The loan will be granted on the condition that full repayment of the exposure at maturity can reasonably be assumed.

The loans granted must be direct:

to current management;

the reactivation and completion of plants, buildings and industrial equipment;

for the other measures indicated in the program presented

The credits arising for the restitution of the sums referred to in this paragraph are satisfied in prededuction, pursuant to art. 111, first paragraph, n. 1), of the Bankruptcy Law.

The criteria, methods and conditions for access to the intervention must be established by decree of the Minister of Economic Development, to be adopted in consultation with the Minister of Economy and Finance within 30 days of the entry into force of the law of conversion of the Sostegni decree.

Support measures for the trade fair system Article 38 , paragraphs 3 to 5, establishes a fund with an endowment of

100 million euros for the year 2021 intended to reimburse the losses deriving from the cancellation, postponement or from the downsizing, following the epidemiological emergency from Covid-19, of fairs and congresses.

It will be a decree of the Minister of Tourism to define the distribution of the amounts and the concrete implementation of the refreshment measures.