13 Jul 2020
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined the next stage in the coronavirus economic recovery plan.
Tackling unemployment, particularly among young people, is at the heart of the plan set out in his Summer Update to Parliament. The Budget and Spending Review will follow in the Autumn.
The 8th July Government Announcement
Job retention bonus
The furlough scheme is to be wound down towards the end of October. Without the scheme’s support you might be considering making redundancies. However, following the announcement on the 8th July, you now have an incentive to keep employees in work. If you bring a staff member back from furlough and keep them in employment until January, you’ll receive a £1,000 bonus. However, you must bring them back to “proper work” and pay them at least £520 a month.
This scheme is aimed at helping young people (16-24 year-olds). It will pay their wages for six months if you take them on in new jobs. There will be no cap on numbers and the Chancellor urged every employer to hire as many kickstarters as possible.
‘These will be decent jobs,’ he said, ‘with a minimum of 25 hours per week paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW)’. You can top up that payment if you wish.
The scheme will open for applications in August and run until December 2021.
The Government will pay employers £1,000 to take on trainees. They’ll provide £100 million to create places on Level 2 and 3 courses. Companies will be given £2,000 each to encourage them to hire apprentices. And, there will be a new bonus of £1,500 for employers taking on an apprentice aged over 25.
The Chancellor said that £250,000 will be invested in careers advisers while the number of work coaches in job centres will be doubled.
Vouchers will be available for homeowners and landlords to improve homes by making them more energy efficient. These will cover at least two-thirds of the cost of work, up to £5,000 per household. Worth £2 billion, this scheme will, the Chancellor said, create thousands of ‘green jobs’.
He will also make available £1 billion to improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings.
There will be a temporary holiday on stamp duty on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland. This will run until 31 March 2021. The Chancellor predicts that nine out of 10 people will pay no stamp duty.
Keeping people in work in hard-hit sectors
Hospitality and tourism are two of the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic. So, the Chancellor has announced two new measures aimed at protecting jobs in these sectors.
Firstly, VAT will be cut on food, accommodation and attractions from 20 per cent to 5 per cent from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021.
Secondly, during August, everyone will get an ‘Eat out to help out’ voucher. This will allow a 50% discount when individuals have a meal in a participating pub or restaurant. (up to £10 per head for adults and children and applying Monday to Wednesday). Venues will be able to redeem the vouchers quickly, with money in their accounts after five working days, Mr Sunak said.
If you need further support with furlough, lockdown, or any other HR or health & safety issue. speak to one of our expert advisers on 01455 858 132.
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