The Chancellor has today made a statement in the House of Commons setting out his Plan for Jobs to protect, support and create employment going forward.
- Confirmed end of CJRS: The Chancellor recognises that the CJRS has been a lifeline for millions but states that it cannot, and should not, go on forever. He has confirmed that it will come to an end in October (saying that whatever further extension may have been implemented, critics would always say that it should be a later date). He has said that an endless extension to furlough would be irresponsible and would give false hope to employees that they are able to ultimately return to the job they had before. He said that recognising that skills fade and it becomes harder to get into new employment the more time goes on, no-one should be trapped in a job which only exists because of government subsidy.
- New Job Retention Bonus: The Chancellor has announced that employers who bring back an employee from furlough into a job paying at least £520 per month on average, from the end of the CJRS until at least January 2021, will be entitled to a £1,000 bonus per employee (at a potential cost of £9 billion to the government). Payments will be made from February 2020. Further details about the scheme will be announced by the end of July 2020.
- New Kickstart Scheme: There will be a new Kickstart Scheme to assist the creation of jobs for 16-24 year olds. Employers who employ 16-24 year olds for at least 25 hours per week on at least the national minimum wage will be able to reclaim the wage costs, plus the associated NICs and minimum employer automatic enrolment pension contributions, for a period of 6 months. The scheme will open next month with the first Kickstarters being employed from the autumn.
- New traineeship payments: The government will pay employers £1,000 per trainee to take on individuals for work experience.
- New apprenticeship payments: Between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021, the government will pay employers to create new apprenticeships at a rate of £2,000 for apprentices aged 16-24 and £1,500 for apprentices aged 25+.
- Reduction in stamp duty: To boost the housing market and jobs within the construction industry, with immediate effect and up until 31 March 2021, stamp duty will no longer be payable on any property transactions under £500,000.
- Cut in VAT: In the hospitality and tourism sector, VAT on food, accommodation and attractions will be cut from 20% to 5% from next Wednesday (15 July) until 12 January 2021. HMRC will publish further guidance in the coming days.
- “Eat out to help out” food voucher: To get customers back into restaurants, pubs etc, throughout the month of August, meals and non-alcoholic drinks will be half price from Monday to Wednesday at participating establishments, up to a maximum £10 discount per person (including for children). Businesses can register for the scheme and then claim the discount back from the government, being reimbursed within 5 working days.