BUDGET EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT MEASURES

The Chancellor set outs the Budget 2021, outlining a series of measures to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve summarised the key points you need to know.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The furlough scheme has been extended to the end of September 2021. The scheme’s terms will remain the same for both employees and employers till 30 June. From 1 July, employers will be required to contribute 10% towards staff wages. This will increase to 20% in August and September respectively.

A breakdown of the changes to the furlough scheme is available on the government website.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

Fourth grant (February 2021 – April 2021)

  1. The Chancellor confirmed that the fourth grant will cover 80% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits up to £7,500 in total.

Fifth grant (May 2021 – September 2021)

A fifth and final grant will be provided under the scheme.

The value of the grant will depend on the percentage of turnover reduction in the year April 2020 to April 2021:

  1. For self-employed with a turnover reduction of 30% or more, the grant will cover 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500
  2. For self-employed with a turnover reduction of less than 30%, the grant will cover 30% of 3 months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850

Individuals who were newly self-employed in 2019-2020 and who haven’t been eligible for support under the scheme so far, will now be able to claim the fourth and fifth grants provided they submitted their 2019-2020

Self-Assessment tax return by 2 March.

More information on the fourth and fifth SEISS grants is available on the government website.

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

The scheme which was created to support individuals on lower incomes who have been instructed to self-isolate and are unable to work from home will be extended until the summer.

Wages

From April 2021, the National Minimum Wage will be increased to £8.91 per hour

Apprenticeships

The apprenticeship hiring incentive will be extended to 30 September 2021 and payments will be doubled providing £3,000 per apprentice hire of any age to encourage the creation of new apprenticeships.

Help to Grow Scheme
  1. This new scheme will support SMEs providing opportunities to access management training and develop the digital skills needed to recover and grow. In addition, it will offer SMEs a voucher to cover up to half the costs of approved digital software (up to a max of £5,000).
  2. For more information on the Help to Grow programme and to register your interest visit the government’s dedicated page, here.