COVID-19: People




COVID-19: PEOPLE

This page provides information on support available for businesses to help current employees and to recruit new employees.

Support for current employees

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough scheme – has been extended until the end of September 2021.

  • The government is extending the CJRS for a further five months from May until the end of September 2021.
  • Employees will continue to receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.
  • There will be no employer contributions beyond National Insurance contributions (NICs) and pensions required in April, May and June.
  • From July, the government will introduce an employer contribution towards the cost of unworked hours of 10% in July, 20% in August and 20% in September, as the economy reopens.

Claim dates:

  • • 14 May 2021 – final date to submit claims for April 2021 by 11:59pm.

Other guidance

  • Calculate how much you have to pay your furloughed employees for hours on furlough, how much you can claim for employer NICs and pension contributions and how much you can claim back. Find out more
  • Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Find out more
  • Examples to help you calculate your employee’s wages, National Insurance contributions and pension contributions. Find out more

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

Small and medium-sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.

The scheme  allows small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible SSP costs per employee.

This scheme is a temporary COVID-19 measure intended to support employers while levels of sickness absence are high. As with other business support schemes, the government will set out steps for closing this scheme in due course.

Employers can make their claims through an online service.

Existing Apprentices

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is implementing new measures, until further notice, to make it easier for apprenticeships to continue and complete in a different way if they need to, or to break and resume an apprenticeship later when that becomes possible.

This guidance can be viewed here

Construction Talent Retention Scheme

The Talent Retention Scheme is designed to retain and secure essential talent in the sector, this new online portal will support the redeployment of staff at risk of redundancy, allowing them to be temporarily loaned between businesses. Over 500,000 left the industry during the last recession, creating a mass skills shortage, which will only become more acute due to EU Exit and post Covid19 effects. The Talent Retention Scheme will help to stop that.

The scheme has two aims:

1. Facilitate talent matching and employee loans on a temporary basis between business
2. Supply re-deployment of staff at risk of redundancy from other sectors, given the overlapping competencies.

The system is free to use, with funding secured until April 2021, and is based on a proven model in the aerospace and automotive sectors which balances redundancies in companies with recruitment needs in others. It will be open to apprentices, self-employed workers, and direct employees, as well as giving displaced workers from other sectors a route to new employment within construction.

More information can be found here 

Pension guidance

The pensions regulator have created guidance for businesses on automatic enrolment and DC pension contributions. View the guidance  here

Employee Health and Wellbeing

As an employer you have responsibilities for your employee’s health and wellbeing, during this time the nature of these responsibilities may be different. Some useful resources to assist you with managing employee health and wellbeing are shown below.

Business in the Community have created a range of toolkits for employers to support employee health and wellbeing through COVID-19.

Recruiting New Employees

New apprenticeship funding

From 1st April 2021:

Employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 will receive £3,000 per new hire, compared with £1,500 per new apprentice hire (or £2,000 for those aged 24 and under) under the previous scheme. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the government provides for all new 16-18 year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan, where that applies.

Supporting apprenticeships across different employers

The government will introduce a £7 million fund from July 2021 to help employers in England set up and expand portable apprenticeships. This will enable people who need to work across multiple projects with different employers to benefit from the high quality long-term training that an apprenticeship provides. Employers themselves will also benefit from access to a diverse apprenticeship talent
pipeline.

Kickstart Scheme

 A Kickstart Scheme has been launched to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. Those aged 16-24, claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each six-month job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up.The government will make it even simpler for employers of all sizes to benefit from joining the scheme by removing the limit requiring they create a minimum of 30 vacancies to apply directly.

Since the 3 February 2021, employers can apply directly to the Kickstart scheme for any number of job placements,  the threshold of 30 job placements has been removed.  You can also choose to apply through a Kickstart gateway, including those supporting sole traders.

Find out more about creating a placement here.

 

Tips for making a successful Kickstart Scheme application.

Cheshire JobCentre Plus Kickstart Guidance

Finding someone to apply for Kickstart on your behalf

You can find someone to apply on behalf of a group of employers.

Find a Kickstart Gateway from the national database to apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant on your behalf

Guidance on choosing a Kickstart Gateway

Locally there are a range of intermediaries who can work with you and on your behalf as a group of employers:

Organisation Name Named Contact Contact details (Email / Phone)
Warrington Borough Council (Warrington and Co – Local Authority)   Not applicable Employmentdevelopmentteam@warrington.gov.uk
West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce Not applicable kickstart@wcnwchamber.org.uk
Youth Federation Chris Hindley chris.hindley@youthfed.org
New Leaf Daniel Bamford Daniel.Bamford@torusfoundation.org.uk
Cheshire Learning Partnership CIC (Springboard) Adele Cook adele@springboard.me.uk
Rossendale Trust Andrea Wright Andrea.Wright@rossendaletrust.org
Ground Work Suzanne Murray Suzanne.Murray@groundwork.org.uk
SCCCI Not applicable info@sccci.co.uk
Changing Lives Tracey Walford twalford@changing-lives-together.org.uk
Warrington and Vale Royal College Not applicable kickstart@wvr.ac.uk

 

Other support 

  • The government will provide an additional £126 million in England for high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds in the 2021/22 academic year. Employers who provide trainees with work experience will continue to be funded at a rate of £1,000 per trainee.
  • Restart scheme – The £2.9 billion Restart scheme will launch in Summer 2021 to provide intensive and tailored support to over 1 million unemployed people in England and Wales and help them find work.

We will publish more details when available.