The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a new job retention bonus as
part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs 2020. Under this initiative,
employers who bring workers back from furlough and continue to employ them
between November 2020 and January 2021 will qualify for a £1,000 ‘job
The Chancellor has been under pressure to extend the Coronavirus Job
Retention (furlough) Scheme, particularly for employers in the retail,
leisure and hospitality sectors, but Sunak has said that it would be
“irresponsible” to keep the furlough scheme going after 31st October. Sunak
has pledged to wind down the furlough scheme “flexibly and gradually” and
said that this phase of the post-pandemic recovery will focus on supporting
jobs through skills development, creating jobs through infrastructure
investment and protecting jobs through incentives for consumers.
In order for employers to be eligible for the job retention bonus, their
employees must earn at least the lower earnings limit for National
Insurance (i.e. £520 per month) between November and January. The amount of
the retention bonus of £1000 is the same for each employee, irrespective of
the employee’s actual wages. The bonus will be paid from February 2021.
Further measures under the Plan for Jobs scheme include:
· A ‘Kickstart Scheme’ of work placement support for young people aged
between 16 and 24, whereby employers will be able to subsidise the wages of
people aged 16-24 that are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of
long-term unemployment. Funding is available for each six-month job
placement and will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a
week. Employers will be able to top this wage up.
· Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under
the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the
Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those
aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
· A £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21,
ensuring more young people have access to high quality training.
Further details of the job retention bonus will be provided later in July.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute
legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific