Coronavirus: Even those who are resistant will feel the consequences

The business services sector in Poland is using the best of its knowledge to manage the crisis efficiently - according to the Mercer survey conducted in mid-March among members of the Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL). At the time of the pandemic, as many as 80% of the surveyed companies had plans ready for maintaining business continuity, and 70% of them were immediately able to switch to remote work mode. However, preparation alone will not protect the sector from the effects of a pandemic. ABSL representatives are calling for the introduction of long-term solutions enabling the implementation of tasks.

Ready for crises

The business services sector employs nearly 310,000 people in Poland in business process service centres (BPO), shared service centres (SSC / GBS), IT and research and development centres (R&D).

As many as half of the companies present in Poland operate on a global scale. The vast majority (80%) had a Business Continuity Plan or Disaster Recovery Plan in place at the time the virus appeared in Poland, which were often prepared and tested, i.a. in India, and more recently in China at the height of the coronavirus crisis.

Remote work - yes, although not always possible

Companies from the business services sector provide services for business units spread all over the world from Poland. They have the technology and know-how that allow remote work and, thanks to investments in ICT infrastructure, they are able to quickly instruct their employees to work from home in most cases. Within the first few days of the coronavirus crisis, 30% of industry employees took this opportunity, and 70% of companies associated in ABSL declared their readiness to introduce the remote working mode immediately.

- Our survey shows that nearly a third of respondents (30%) have not reported any problems with switching to remote work so far. 40%; however, admits the nature of some tasks does not allow it- says Krzysztof Nowak, Partner, Mercer.

Prepared but aware of the difficulties

Although the business services sector is prepared, it does not mean the pandemic will not disturb its functioning. As many as 71% of companies surveyed by Mercer admit that they will be forced to postpone the implementation of some projects. Almost a third (29%) are concerned about disruptions in their supply chain, and an identical percentage expect delays in completing orders.

Despite the difficult situation, companies in the industry viewed their situation quite positively. At the time the survey ended (March 19), only 15% of respondents had already decided to revise their business goals. One third (33%) considered this a possibility, and more than half (52%) were determined to implement their plans. - However, the situation may change, and this may be strongly influenced by solutions proposed by the government– stresses Paweł Panczyj, Strategy & Business Development Director ABSL.

Solutions supporting processes are key

The situation of the shared services sector depends on many non-sector factors. The Anti-Crisis Shield announced by the government is a step in the right direction. Forty-percent payroll subsidies will certainly help many companies maintain liquidity and employment. This is especially there, where it will be necessary, for example, to stop production or provision of services. - In the case of the business services sector, solutions supporting the implementation of processes are key, especially since March is the month when annual balances are drawn up. That is why ABSL is calling for the postponement of certain dates, for ad hoc changes in the tax settlement system and for remote communication with tax offices - adds Paweł Panczyj, Strategy & Business Development Director, ABSL.

Comment: Paweł Panczyj, Strategy & Business Development Director, ABSL

The absence of many employees may result in companies’ accounting departments becoming inefficient. Accounting offices whose services are used by most entrepreneur, are unable to ensure prompt fulfilment of numerous reporting obligations imposed on taxpayers. It is therefore necessary for the government to postpone the deadlines for submitting tax returns and declarations.

The businesses associated in ABSL believe that in the current situation, the first reporting obligation should be postponed. It is also worth noting that the template for the report to be submitted by entrepreneurs has not yet been published. In the case of large taxpayers carrying out many commercial transactions on a monthly basis, each new reporting obligation means changes in accounting systems, and changes in accounting systems and automatic solutions require discussion and analysis within the company, including with IT experts. As a consequence, given the time between the publication of the report template and its later implementation, sufficient time must be allowed to prepare for the new obligation.

We are also asking for the facilitating of remote communication with tax authorities - not only through ePUAP, but also through the official mailboxes of tax inspectors. We are striving to restore the quarterly VAT settlement for all taxpayers and simplify the procedures for using the funds accumulated on the VAT account.

As one can see, there are many needs and expectations and all demands submitted by our member companies have been forwarded to the relevant Ministries.

For more information, please contact:

Marta Piorun
PR Manager ABSL
+48 534 454 464


The Association of Business Service Leaders - represents more than 200 largest global companies, currently employing over 300,000 people in Poland. Almost 1.5 thousand service centers, distributed in over 50 cities, creates a thriving ecosystem supporting innovative solutions implemented by international corporations. The goal is to build attractive and sustainable ecosystems that, thanks to this positive commitment, will create new, valuable jobs and will responsibly develop investments and business in local communities.