Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a three-point plan to support jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic, when he delivered a Summer Economic Update to Parliament on July 8th.
Mr Sunak confirmed the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will end in October. He said furloughing had been the right measure to protect jobs through the first phase of the pandemic. The second phase will see a three-point plan to create and protect jobs.
The CJRS will be followed by a Job Retention Bonus, introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers in employment. UK employers will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of January 31st 2021. To qualify for the payment, employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 a month) on average between the end of the CJRS Scheme and the end of January 2021.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak also launched a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme that aims to create subsidised six-month work placements for young people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit. Funding available for each placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer national insurance contributions (NICs) and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
The Chancellor also announced a cut in the rate of VAT from 20% to 5% for the UK’s tourism and hospitality industry, to help further support. This is applied to suppliers of food and non-alcoholic drinks from pubs, cafés, restaurants, bars and other similar premises.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said ‘Our plan has a clear goal: to protect, support and create jobs. It will give businesses the confidence to retain and hire. To create jobs in every part of our country. To give young people a better start. To give people everywhere the opportunity of a fresh start.’
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