Covid-19: rules for exemption from social security contributions

The Social Security Financing Act 2021 provides for a social security contribution exemption scheme to enable employers to cope with the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis. Who is concerned? How can you benefit? Answers on the rules governing exemptions and assistance with the payment of social contributions.

Employers eligible for social security contribution exemptions and assistance

In a press release published on January 26, 2021, URSSAF announced that the support measures offered to companies impacted by the health crisis would remain unchanged.

Employers with fewer than 250 employees whose main activity falls within a "protected" sector (culture, tourism, sport, hotels, catering, air transport, events, etc.) or a "related" sector can apply for an exemption from social security contributions. They will be granted this assistance if they can prove that they have suffered a ban on receiving the public, or a loss of sales of at least 50% compared with the same period in 2019, or compared with average monthly sales for the same year.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees who do not fall within these sectors are also eligible for an exemption from social security contributions if they have been banned from receiving the public, which has had a predominant impact on their business, or banned from carrying on their business as a result of the application of decree no. 2020-1310, which introduced the closure of businesses to deal with the epidemic. Eligibility for exemption from contributions is therefore assessed each month on the basis of the applicant's financial situation.

In addition to the exemption, employers can benefit from assistance with the payment of all employer and employee contributions due to URSSAF for the years 2020 and 2021.

How can I postpone my social security payments?

Employers wishing to defer payment of all or part of their employee and employer contributions must file their declarations by the due dates. All they have to do is complete an online application form. If no reply is received from URSSAF within 48 hours, the request is deemed to have been accepted. Unpaid contributions are automatically carried forward.

The organization will then contact the employer concerned to set up a debt repayment plan.

How can I benefit from an exemption from social security contributions?

To obtain an exemption from social security contributions, eligible employers must mention this benefit in their déclaration sociale nominative (DSN).

The total amount of the exemption and payment aid may not exceed 800,000 euros per employer. It is set at 120,000 euros for the fishing industry and 100,000 euros for primary agricultural production. The ceiling also takes into account any exemption and payment assistance the company may have received during the first wave of the pandemic.