Workforce Matters: Issue No. 17 10 July 2020
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WORKFORCE MATTERS – ISSUE NO. 17 10 JULY 2020
A PLAN FOR JOBS 2020
JOB RETENTION BONUS and OTHER NEW INITIATIVES
INTRODUCTION
On 8 July 2020 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered his Summer Economic Update 2020 to
Parliament and announced A Plan for Jobs 2020 package to outline how the Government will boost job
creation in the United Kingdom. This package of measures is intended to support jobs and give businesses the
confidence to retain and hire people. We have highlighted below some of the key initiatives.
JOB RETENTION BONUS (JRB)
As part of the plan to support jobs, the government is introducing a new Job Retention Bonus to reward and
incentivise employers who keep on their furloughed employees.
The unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has so far supported over one million employers
to protect over 9 million jobs. The scheme has been open since March, and will wind down flexibly and
gradually, supporting businesses until October. It is important that people who have been furloughed are
supported back to work. It is beneficial for everyone, including the individual, to prevent skills from fading and
to maintain strong employment relationships.
JRB – Eligibility
The government will introduce a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed
employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. The Chancellor
made it clear in his address to Parliament that ‘it is vital people aren’t returning for the sake of it – they
need to be doing decent work’. Also, employees must earn the equivalent of the Lower Earnings Limit
(£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end
of January 2021. Payments will be made from February 2021 and will cover, as far as we are aware, all
employees for whom a valid claim has been made under the CJRS since March 2020 and who remain
continuously employed until the end of January 2021.
Note: Further detail about the scheme will be announced by the end of July.
KICKSTART SCHEME – to create ‘high quality jobs for young people’
Possibly the most significant employment announcement is the government’s introduction of a new Kickstart
Scheme. The scheme will fund the direct creation of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those
aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and deemed to be at the highest risk of long-term unemployment
following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The £2bn funded scheme will give young people the chance
to build their confidence and skills in the workplace, and to gain experience that will improve their chances of
going on to find long-term, sustainable work.
Workforce Matters: Issue No. 17 10 July 2020
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Kickstart Scheme Details
The funding available for each 6-month placement will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum
Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and
employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
CONSTRUCTION LEADERSHIP COUNCIL – TALENT RETENTION SCHEME
Government is also funding a Talent Retention Scheme (TRS) to support the redeployment of those at risk of
redundancy across the sector and to help retain essential talent in the UK construction industry.
Launching later this month (July), the Scheme will feature an online portal to match candidates with vacancies
in the industry. As well as enabling temporary employee loans between businesses, the scheme will also give
displaced workers from other sectors a route to find new employment in the construction industry. It will
cover all professional, trade and back office roles and will be free to use until the end of the present financial
year. BESA will publish further details when the scheme is launched. Meanwhile, you can register your
interest at www.trs-system.co.uk/construction.
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BESA Employment Affairs will issue further information when this becomes available. Meanwhile, please visit the
COVID-19 hub at www.thebesa.com or contact employment.affairs@thebesa.com for further information.