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What is the government’s Kickstarter job scheme?

10 August 2020
Gavin Hooker
COVID-19, Accounting & Compliance, Payroll, People

In the Chancellor’s Summer Economic Update he announced his plan for jobs. There were not only changes for the apprenticeship scheme but also the launch of a new Kickstart scheme.

What is the Kickstart scheme?

The aim of this scheme is to help employment of workers under 16-24 years old by funding employers.

This program will benefit young workers who are currently under the Universal Credit program, which is a government-funded initiative that helps low-income or unemployed workers by giving them monthly payment to cover their living costs.

There are over 3.2 million UK employees supported by the Universal Credit scheme, and a large proportion of this are young people at risk of long-term unemployment.

How does the Kickstart scheme work?

Employers could apply to be involved in the scheme from August 2020, with the expectation of workers beginning their new roles in the autumn. The scheme will run until December 2021.

The scheme will cover the cost of 25 hours’ work a week at the National Minimum Wage – £4.55 for under 18s, £6.45 for 18-20 year olds, and £8.20 for 21-24 year olds. Employers can top up wages if they wish to.

This subsidy will fund workers’ wages for 6 months as well as an additional amount to cover overheads. There will also be no cap on the number of places available through the scheme.

What would I need to do as an employer?

Any UK enterprise giving decent jobs may enter the program, provided that the jobs to be assigned are in addition to existing roles within the company. More details of the criteria for company funding eligibility were published on 2 September 2020 and these are explained in our latest blog:

Update to the Kickstart Scheme

By employing a Kickstarter you are responsible for providing training and support to help these employees secure permanent jobs.

This scheme has been welcomed by those businesses in the hospitality sector.

What about new apprentices?

From August 2020 until January 2021, businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25 and £1,500 for those aged 25 and over. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18 year old apprentices.

Eligibility for this grant is that the apprentice must not have been employed by you within 6 months prior to the apprenticeship contract start date.

Again there is no limit on the number of incentive payments and the payment will be made directly to employers in two equal instalments – where the apprentice is still in learning at day 90 and day 365. This means that as an employer you will need to claim the incentive payment via the online apprenticeship system from 1 September 2020, with the earliest date  for payment of the first half of the incentive being 30 October.

We are here to support your business, if you have any concerns please call us or email Mark or Andrew.

The content in this blog is correct as at 10/08/2020. See terms and conditions.

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