Coronavirus (Covid-19) Hub

Covid-19 : Business Support 08.07.20 – Update 38

This afternoon a package of measures to assist businesses bring their employees back to work and create new employment opportunities were announced. The key aspects of the additional support measures as detailed in the initial announcement are set out below, with further guidance and eligibility criteria to be provided over the next few days:

Tourism & Hospitality Sector – the tourism and hospitality sector are massive employers and have been severely impacted by the pandemic due to necessary closures to protect public health, therefore to assist the sector the government are introducing the following measures

  • VAT cuts – vat will be reduced from 20% to 5% for goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sectors from next Wednesday until 12th January 2021. It is anticipated that this will benefit over 150,000 businesses, and consumers everywhere – all helping to protect 2.4 million jobs; and
  • Eat Out to Help Out’ Discount – to support restaurants and the people who work in them, the government is saying ‘Eat Out to Help Out’. Therefore, for the month of August customers can avail of a 50% reduction, up to £10 per head, on sit-down meals and non-alcoholic drinks in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday in participating restaurants.

Stamp Duty – currently there is no Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) on transactions below £125,000 (or £300,000 for first-time buyers). However to encourage people to feel confident to move, to buy, to sell, to renovate, and to improve their homes, the government are introducing a temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 effective of today until 31st March 2021. In England and Northern Ireland nearly 9 out of 10 people getting on or moving up the property ladder will pay no Stamp Duty at all. It is envisaged that this will drive growth and support jobs across the housebuilding and property sectors.

Job Retention Bonus – as part of the plan to support jobs, a Job Retention Bonus will be introduced to help firms keep furloughed workers. Employers will receive a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.

The Kickstart Scheme – the Kickstart Scheme will directly pay employers to create new jobs for any 16-24 year old at risk of long-term unemployment. 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 (and employers will be able to top this wage up), plus an amount to cover overheads. That means, for a 24-year-old, the grant will be in the region of £6,500.

Traineeships – Traineeships are a proven scheme to get young people ready for work. Therefore the government will pay employers £1,000 to take on trainees, with triple the number of places. Traineeships consist of work experience placements, training (including English and Maths) and work preparation for 16-24-year-olds. They last from 6 weeks to 6 months depending on need and can lead to apprenticeships, further education and other employment.

Apprenticeships – for the next six months the government will pay businesses to hire young apprentices, with a payment of £2,000. They are also introducing a brand-new bonus to hire apprentices aged 25 and over, with a payment of £1,500.

Green Home Grants – funding of £2bn in the form of Green Home Grants helping to unlock work for thousands of plumbers, builders and tradespeople. As part of this package homeowners and landlords in England, will receive vouchers to pay for at least two-thirds of green improvements such as loft, wall and floor insulation. Low-income households will be eligible for up to 100% government funding up to £10,000.

It is anticipated that this could support 100,000 jobs and make over 650,000 homes more energy efficient. It could also save households up to £300 a year on their bills.

ASM Contacts

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Grainne Quinn – Magherafelt

Ian Finnegan – Newry

Caroline Keenan – Belfast

Michael P. O’Hare – Dundalk

Alistair Cooke – Dungannon