Budget 2021: A summary for employers
This month's budget incorporates a number of measures designed to provide support for the many small businesses suffering the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Following widespread speculation, here is a brief summary of the key points for employers, as announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Furlough extended until September 2021
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme) is being extended until the end of September. It was previously due to finish at the end of April. This is designed to support to businesses throughout the summer as the economy emerges from lockdown.
Furloughed staff will continue to receive up to 80% of their salary (employers will continue to contribute National Insurance and pension payments until July). Employers will be expected to pay 10% towards the hours their staff do not work in July. Employer contributions will continue to rise to 20% in August and September.
Restart Grants and recovery funding
From next month, grants of up to £18,000 per business will be available to help eligible businesses get back on their feet. This is likely to include high street retailers, hospitality venues, gyms and salons. Businesses of any size will be able to apply to the new Recovery Loan Scheme for loans valued between £25,000 and £10m. In addition, a £700m package has been earmarked to aid recovery in the sports and culture sectors.
The new Help to Grow Scheme will help small businesses to access leading management training.
Help to Grow Digital will give access to online courses and offer discounts of up to 50% on software which enhances productivity. This is designed to upskill staff and advance productivity. Whilst the scheme is not due to be launched until the Autumn, businesses can register in advance at https://helptogrow.campaign.gov.uk/
Increased funding for apprenticeships
Employers offering apprenticeships will receive additional government funding of up to £3,000 per trainee for all new apprentice hires (of any age).
Unsponsored visa scheme
A new unsponsored points-based visa is being launched to simplify the process for hiring highly skilled workers from overseas.
National Living Wage
The National Living Wage rate will rise to £8.91 from April.
Does your business need expert employment law advice?
For expert advice on all aspects of employment law including severance packages and settlement agreements, disciplinary and grievance issues, employment contracts, handling claims of discrimination, unfair dismissal and redundancy, please contact James Hodgson or Maureen Cawthorn at our Halifax office on 01422 339600.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.