BARWELL'S BANTER: Employment issues within the Budget
Continuing our look at the Budget presented by the Chancellor on, March 3, this week concentrating on employment issues.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
This scheme allows an employer to place an employee on furlough and claim back a grant from the government to cover the wage costs equivalent to the amount of time the employee is on furlough.
The employer can currently claim 80% of the normal salary for unworked hours up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee each month.
The employer does, however, need to cover the employer national insurance contributions and the minimum employer auto enrolment pension contributions. The scheme was previously intended to end in April 2021. However, in the budget, the Chancellor announced that he had extended the scheme until September 30.
The current level of the grant will remain unchanged until June 30. After this time, the level of the grant will reduce in stages, resulting in a contribution being necessary from the employer.
Employers will have to continue to pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages along with the employer national insurance contributions and minimum employer auto enrolment pension costs, in order to be eligible for the grant.
For July, 70% of furloughed wages can be
re-claimed up to a maximum of £2,187 and for the months of August and September, 60% of furloughed wages can be re-claimed up to a maximum of £1,875.
National living wage and national minimum wage
From April 1, the National Living Wage will rise to £8.91 per hour and will be applicable to 23-year-olds and over. From this date, the rates for those aged 21-22 years old will be £8.36, 18-20 year olds £6.56, 16-17 year olds £4.62 and apprentices £4.30.
The government announced that it will pay £3,000 per new apprentice hired
between April 1 and September 30. This is double the previous rate of £1,500 per new apprentice.