What the summer statement means for UK workers
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the government’s plan to help the country recover from COVID-19.
Many things were covered during the summer statement, however, one of the key things covered was the ‘Plan for Jobs’. But what does it actually mean for the UK workforce? And what industries are being covered?
Here’s everything you need to know about the ‘Plan for Jobs’:
What is the Job Retention Bonus?
The Chancellor confirmed that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be coming to an end in October – meaning the government will no longer be making contributions towards furloughed workers.
However, they will be introducing a Job Retention Bonus, which will pay UK employers £1,000 for every furloughed worker they bring back.
They’re also pledging £1.2bn to the Department of Work and Pensions to help support those who have already been made unemployed as part of the crisis.
What is the Kickstart scheme?
We know that younger workers have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
To help this age group, a new £2bn ‘Kickstart’ scheme is being launched – which will provide hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
Anyone aged 16-24, who may be at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible.
Each six-month job placement will have the UK minimum wage paid up to 25 hours per week, with employers being able to top up this amount.
What about trainee schemes and apprenticeships?
The government has also committed to providing 30,000 new traineeships to get young people into work.
As part of the £111m scheme, employers will be given £1,000 for every new work experience place they offer.
A traineeship is essentially a course that includes a work placement – which can run from six weeks to six months (and will usually include an interview for a permanent position, if available, once completed).
A total of £1.6bn will be invested in employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships as we move out of the crisis.
How is the hospitality industry being helped?
One of the biggest announcements for the hospitality sector included the ‘eat out to help out’ discount.
This will give a 50% discount to anyone eating at participating restaurants, pubs and cafes, with a maximum discount of £10 per head (available from Monday – Wednesday).
VAT on food, accommodation and attractions will also be cut over the next six months, going from the standard 20% to just 5%.
It will apply to everything from restaurants, hotels and caravan sites, through to cinemas, theme parks and leisure centres – and is aimed at easing our collective anxiety at getting back out into the community.
It’ll be in effect until January 12th 2021.
What else is being covered?
Other announcements the Chancellor made which could affect UK workers included:
- Stamp Duty Holiday – To help restore confidence in the ailing housing market, the threshold for paying stamp duty will be raised from £125,000 to £500,000 until March 2021. It means as many as 9 out of 10 new homebuyers will have no duty to pay at all.
- Green initiatives – Many new environmental schemes were announced, including aiming to make 650,000 homes more energy-efficient, with a similar plan for buildings in the public sector. Something which will support more than 140,000 jobs.
- Construction projects – To get Britain building, £5.8bn will be spent on construction. Urgent upgrades will be made to hospitals, road networks and schools, amongst other projects. This plan is aimed at creating thousands of jobs in construction, with work on decarbonisation and infrastructure being brought forward.
Here’s what our Chairman, James Reed, had to say on the Chancellor’s announcement:
“Rishi Sunak’s summer economic statement promised jobs, jobs, jobs and today we are seeing this turn into action, action, action. These new measures to help boost the economy and the jobs market through investment and support are very welcome and come at a vital time for the economy.”
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