Chancellor reveals job retention bonus and apprentice funding boost

Employers to get £1k bonus for bringing furloughed staff back and new funds to help get young people into work

Chancellor reveals job retention bonus and apprentice funding boost
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A ‘Job Retention Bonus’ is to be introduced to help businesses keep furloughed workers, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has this week announced.

UK Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.

Explaining how it will work, the chancellor said: “If you’re an employer and you bring back someone who was furloughed – and continuously employ them through to January – we’ll pay you a £1,000 bonus per employee.

“It’s vital people aren’t just returning for the sake of it – they need to be doing decent work.

“So for businesses to get the bonus, the employee must be paid at least £520 on average, in each month from November to the end of January – the equivalent of the lower earnings limit in National Insurance.”

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Sunak also revealed an apprenticeship funding boost.

Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice hired under the age of 25 between August 2020 and January 2021.

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.

The government will also introduce a brand new bonus for businesses to hire apprentices aged 25 and over with a payment of £1,500.

Related: MOT backlog to peak in October, DVSA data suggests

Meanwhile, a £111m investment aims to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020/21, with businesses getting £1,000 for every trainee they offer a work placement to.

Employers who take on 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit will have their wages paid for six months and get a contribution to overheads under a new ‘Kickstart Scheme’

The government said it would allow young people “the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace, and to gain experience that will improve their chances of going on to find long-term sustainable work”.

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