Spring Budget & Coronavirus Update for Employers
Posted on: 14th Mar 2021 by: Demos HR Solutions
Now that the dust has settled from last week’s Spring Budget announcement by the Chancellor, as well as updated information being published about Coronavirus government support, we have summarised the details for employers below.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Known also as the furlough scheme, the Job Retention Scheme which was due to end in April has been extended even further until 30th September 2021 with no changes for employees receiving 80% of their wage for hours not worked (up to a maximum of £2,500 a month). For employers, the scheme will continue from May in its current form and from 1st July they will need to contribute to the cost of paying 10% of the salary for furloughed employees increasing to 20% in August and September.
For those of you that have claimed from the Job Retention Scheme – please be aware that HMRC are issuing fines for mistakes made in administration and calculations. If you have made a genuine mistake, a new law being implemented means you will have 90 days to acknowledge, admit and repay. As part of his Budget announcement, Rishi Sunak said that £100 million will be provided to HMRC to set up a taskforce to tackle Covid-19 fraud and tax evasion.
Lateral flow testing
Employers in England have until 31st March 2021 to register to be able to claim FREE lateral flow tests from the Government for testing employees that cannot work from home. You will need to register with the name of your company, your company registration number and an email address. Please click here to register before 31st March 2021.
Key Points from the Budget
Supporting young people
As we have detailed in our last newsletter, and it was confirmed again in the Budget announcement, the National Minimum Wage will increase to £8.91 per hour from April 2021.
The Chancellor announced further incentives in addition to the more flexible Kickstart Scheme, which itself has been boosted with doubled payments per apprenticeship, now at £3,000 per hire. A traineeship programme has also been launched encouraging businesses in England to take on 16–24-year-olds, with a £126 million funding pot for 40,000 new traineeships to learn new skills.
Helping SMEs to develop their leaders and senior managers, the Government has launched the Help to Grow scheme including free MBA-style training for up to 130,000 leaders via online courses from top business schools and a 50% discount for new software, made available with £520 million of funding.
Tapping into the global talent pool
A new visa scheme has been announced which will be implemented to help start-ups and rapidly growing tech firms to source overseas talent. The scheme has been described as similar to the Global Talent route that replaced the old Tier 1 visa.
Rishi Sunak confirmed that the new scheme will mean highly skilled migrants from abroad will no longer need to obtain a third-party endorsement or be backed by a sponsor organisation, and prize winners and people who hold scholarships will automatically qualify for this new route into the country.
For advice on any of the issues above as a result of the Budget or if you need support managing the impact of Coronavirus on your business, including updating contracts for changing furloughed employees, please speak to Debbie at Dêmos HR Solutions on 07974 695 365 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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