IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19

The Government has now announced a handful of creative schemes aimed at minimising the economic impact of COVID-19 and saving as many jobs as possible.

It was announced on 8 July 2020 that a Job Retention Bonus scheme would come into force as a means of incentivising employers to retain employees as the furlough scheme is wound down, rather than simply making them redundant. The scheme, on the face of it appears quite simple- employers will receive £1,000 for every furloughed employee that remains in employment through to the end of January 2021. Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021. The bonus payment will be issued to employers at the end of February. Further detailed guidance will be issued at the end of July 2020.

In addition, an employment support offer will be funded to assist those facing long term unemployment, alongside an expanded “Youth offer” which will accompany the Kickstart Scheme aimed at creating hundreds of thousands of six month work placements for young people at the highest risk of long term unemployment. This initiative will provide funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for up to 25 hours per week (plus employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions). This scheme will coincide with a number of other new initiatives aimed at supporting young people, including the £2,000 payment to employers for every new apprentice under the age of 25 they hire between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021.

The Government have also announced a number of other initiatives aimed at creating jobs (i.e. in housing) or saving the worst hit sectors, particularly hospitality. On the face of it, the announcements represent a welcome help to employers and employees alike and it is hoped that with clearer guidance, these new incentives will successfully encourage more employers to retain and hire staff.

If you have any questions regarding the recent announcement or the coronavirus job retention scheme and require guidance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our experienced Employment team on 01484 558060 or email gareth.dando@ramsdens.co.uk who will be happy to assist.