Summer 2020 Economic Update: What Employers Need To Know
The Chancellor has delivered the Summer 2020 Economic Update which sets out various measures, including those which relate to the furlough scheme and job creation which will be of interest to employers.
Furlough Retention Bonus
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘CJRS’) is due to end on 31 October 2020 however, employers will be paid a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed worker that they bring back to work after the CJRS ends and retain in employment until at least 31 January 2021. The bonus will apply to workers who are paid at least the lower earnings limit for national insurance purposes. This is likely to represent a welcome windfall for those employers intending to bring back and retain employees in any event. There is a question however as to how effective a bonus of this level will be in safeguarding jobs if employers are struggling to meet the employment costs of their workforce.
New apprenticeships will be supported by bonuses, with employers entitled to a payment of £2,000 for each young apprentice they take on under the age of 25 and £1,500 for each apprentice aged 25 or over.
Kickstart Job Creation Scheme
A new “kickstart” job creation scheme will be established for young people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24, who are at risk of long-term unemployment. The government will pay the wages of new workers meeting these criteria for a period of six months, while they complete a “job placement”. For each new placement, the government will cover the cost of 25 hours’ work a week at the applicable National Minimum Wage rate. Employers can choose to top up the government’s contribution to these wages if they wish. The scheme will open for applications in August, so the first placements can start in the Autumn.