The Kickstart Scheme — Government Subsidies for New Employees
You may have been concerned by dire predictions about the long-term effect the COVID crisis could have on jobs. The Furlough scheme is drawing to an end, and record numbers of redundancies are being predicted. Perhaps you are considering redundancies yourself.
However, there is still going to be help available — including the government's Kickstart Scheme.
Protecting Jobs in the Lockdown
During the lockdown, most companies had to close their doors. This might have been to conform with regulations, but it could also have been due to customers disappearing.
The government's emergency solution for this was the Job Retention Scheme, commonly called Furlough, with 80% of the wages for furloughed employees being paid from the public purse. At best, this has given some businesses the breathing space they need to reposition themselves for success in the "new normal".
At worst, though, many businesses will find they are still in the same situation when the scheme finishes at the end of October. There may be little choice but to announce redundancies, or even to close down.
The Kickstart Scheme
The government has tried to reduce this carnage with the Jobs Retention Bonus, paying companies to keep on previously furloughed workers. However, it is predicted that a high proportion of the jobs lost will affect the under-25s, with 700,000 new school-leavers also joining the job market.
To encourage companies to create jobs for this group and avoid a lost generation, the Chancellor announced the Kickstart Scheme. This "will directly pay employers to create new jobs for any 16 to 24-year-old at risk of long-term unemployment."
Jobs must be at least 25 hours a week and paid at the National Minimum Wage or above, while the employer will be expected to provide training and support. If these conditions are satisfied, the government will pay the Kickstarter's wages for six months, plus an extra payment to the employer to cover overheads.
An Opportunity for Growth
Saying that nothing will be quite the same again has become a cliché, but it is still true. Times ahead are going to be tough, but there will be opportunities for SME owners with the vision to see them and the resolution to follow them.
The great advantage of taking on a young person is that they are likely to be more flexible and open to new ideas than many older workers. They are also likely to have a better instinctive understanding of what is going to appeal to the new generation of adults, and what isn't.
The Kickstart Scheme was designed primarily to help young people avoid long-term unemployment, but it also offers a unique opportunity to SMEs. You can have a bright young employee who may help you make a successful transition to the post-COVID world — and it is free for six months.
Why not give me a call to discuss how the Kickstart Scheme could work for you?
I hope this information helps your business run more smoothly through these difficult times.
Director & Managing Partner
Grace Certified Accountants