State aid: Commission approves €403 million scheme to reimburse costs borne by Italian companies for reducing contagion risks at workplace

The European Commission has approved a €403 million Italian scheme to reimburse costs borne by Italian companies for introducing protection measures at the workplace in order to reduce the risk of contagion in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The measure will be open to companies of all sizes active in all sectors except the financial sector. The scheme aims at preserving the continuity of economic activity during and after the coronavirus outbreak, while protecting people’s health and safety. The measure provides for the reimbursement of 100% of costs borne by the beneficiaries for the purchase of devices and equipment for individual protection, in compliance with the measures introduced by the Italian authorities in March 2020 to limit the spread of the coronavirus in workplaces. The aid amount will be at least of €500, with a possible maximum amount of aid of €15,000 for companies with up to 9 workers, €50,000, for companies with between 10 and 50 workers and €100,000 for companies with more than 50 workers. The Commission found that the Italian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid will not exceed €100,000 per company active in the primary production of agricultural products, €120,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, and €800,000 per company active in other sectors; and (ii) the scheme will run until 31 December 2020. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.58727 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.