On 2 September 2020, the government’s £2 billion Kickstart Scheme opened for employer applications.
The scheme is part of the Plan for Jobs announced during Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s July Summer Economic Update.
The Kickstart Scheme aims to create work placements for young people who are at risk of becoming unemployed for the long-term. Businesses can join the scheme, with the government paying employers £1,500 to help set up support and training. Funding is available following a successful application process. Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements.
Businesses that are unable to offer this many job placements can partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number.
Selected out-of-work young people will be offered six month work placements for at least 25 hours a week to help them gain experience, skills and confidence. The scheme is designed to be a stepping stone to further employment.
Employers will receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage (NMW) for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer national insurance contributions (NICs) and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions.
Chancellor Sunak said:
‘This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.
‘The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.’
Self-employers workers whose trade has been hit by coronavirus can now apply for a second support grant from the government.
More than three million people may be eligible for the payment of up to £6,570 each.
The claims window is initially open for a four-day period but anyone who thinks they may be eligible and hasn’t been contacted by HMRC has until October to make a claim.
“We are trying very hard to contact all those people who are eligible in order to help them to understand when they can make their claim.” said Angela MacDonald, deputy chief executive at HMRC.
If you think you are eligible and haven’t been contacted by HMRC, you can go onto the online system which will tell you if you are eligible, and when it is you can make a claim.
“People shouldn’t worry about needing to do everything too much in a rush,” said Ms MacDonald.
The eligibility criteria for the second grant is exactly the same as the first grant – so self-employed people who were eligible for the first SEISS grant will be eligible for the second grant, so long as their business has been adversely affected since 14 July 2020.
HMRC has outlined the eligibility requirements for the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) that follows the furlough scheme as part of the government’s measures to support the economy through the COVID-19 lockdown.
The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020 and the JRB aims to provide additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees in meaningful employment.
The JRB is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the scheme, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between the 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021. Employers will be able to claim the JRB after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021.
All employers are eligible for the scheme including recruitment agencies and umbrella companies. They should ensure that they have complied with their obligations to pay and file PAYE accurately and on time under the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system, maintained enrolment for PAYE online and have a UK bank account.
Employers will be able to claim for employees who were furloughed and had a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim submitted for them that meets all relevant eligibility criteria for the scheme.
They must have up-to-date RTI records for the period to the end of January and not be serving a contractual or statutory notice period, that started before 1 February 2021, for the employer making a claim.
HMRC will publish further details about this process before the end of September 2020.