This month Club Insure Risk Management’s Senior HR Advisor, Ben Crawford, talks about the end of the furlough scheme.
As from the 1st September, the government contribution to the Furlough scheme reduced from 80% to 70%. Employers are now required to contribute the other 10% to employees to keep them on furlough. This hails another step closer to the furlough scheme closing altogether as of the 31st October. The scheme will phase down further as from the 1st October. By then, government contributions reduce to 60% and employer contributions increasing to 20% accordingly.
Speculation in the media has suggested that Germany may look to extend the Kurzabeit, its version of the furlough scheme, for up to 24 months. This will help protect businesses and jobs. However, there has been no such speculation surrounding the UK furlough scheme. Therefore, businesses who haven’t already should start planning the return to work of those staff currently still on furlough. For businesses that are not open at all, this will entail ensuring that the businesses premises are COVID-secure. All the relevant risk assessments need to be put into place and communicated to all staff. For staff that have not yet returned to the workplace, Club Insure Risk Management advise for them to be sent an employee availability form. This will help companies to identify any change in an employee’s individual circumstances and plan a return to work accordingly.
Unfortunately, the end of the furlough scheme could see an increase in redundancies. Over the last six months, as you will have seen in the press as well, we have seen a huge increase in the number of client communication on redundancies. In the unfortunate event that these need to take place, speak to your dedicated HR Advisor to discuss the correct process to follow.
To offset the number of job losses, the government have created several initiatives to stimulate job creation. This includes…
The Kickstart scheme
The government will introduce a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain. This will be a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements. Those aged 16-24 and on Universal Credit, and those deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment, will be eligible. Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week. It will also include the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
New funding for National Careers Service
The government will provide an additional £32 million funding over the next two years for the National Careers Service. This will help around 269,000 more people in England to receive personalised advice on training and work.
High quality traineeships for young people
The government will provide an additional £111 million this year for traineeships in England. Funding high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds is thought to be enough to triple participation in traineeships. For the first time ever, the government will fund employers who provide trainees with work experience. They will fund at a rate of £1,000 per trainee. The government will improve provision and expand eligibility for traineeships to those with Level 3 qualifications and below. This will ensure that more young people have access to high quality training.
Payments for employers who hire new apprentices
The government will introduce a new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, from 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021. These payments will be 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 – where that applies.
Protect your club as the furlough scheme comes to an end
Contact Club Insure for further information about our Risk Management or HR services.