On Wednesday 8th July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a host of new measures to help businesses and individuals emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, forming part of an emergency plan to get Britain’s economy moving again, with an emphasis on boosting employment opportunities. Here, we summarise the key measures:

Employment Tax

Job Retention Bonus

The government will introduce a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every employee who has been furloughed at any point and included on a CJRS claim and remains continuously employed from November through to the end of January 2021.

Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021. Payments will be made from February 2021. More detail will be released at the end of July, and full detail in the Autumn.

Further detail about the scheme will be announced by the end of July.

Kickstart Scheme

The government have launched a £2 billion programme to subsidise hundreds of thousands of high quality, 6-month work placements for under-25s currently on Universal Credit and deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.

The funding available will cover 100% the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions.

High quality traineeships for young people

The government will provide an additional £111 million this year for traineeships in England, to fund high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds, enough to triple participation in traineeships.

For the first time ever, the government will fund employers who provide trainees with work experience, 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, to ensure that more young people have access to high quality training.

Payments for employers who hire new apprentices

Employers in England will receive £2,000 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.


Temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) cut

From 8th July 2020 until 31st March 2021, the government will temporarily increase the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT, in England and Northern Ireland, from £125,000 to £500,000, eradicating the need to pay SDLT for nearly nine out of ten people getting on or moving up the property ladder.

Green Homes Grant

A £2 billion Green Homes Grant, providing at least £2 for every £1 homeowners and landlords spend to make their homes more energy efficient, is to be rolled out, capped at £5,000 per household.

For those on the lowest income, the government will fully fund energy efficient measure of up to £10,000 per household. The schemes target is to upgrade over 600,000 homes across England, reducing energy bills and supporting support 100,000 green jobs, strengthening the supply chain which will play a vital role in meeting our target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Eat Out to Help Out

A measure intended to encourage people to return to eating out, the Eat Out to Help Out provides diners with a 50% discount up to £10 per head at any participating eat-in restaurants, cafés, pubs or food service establishments, valid Monday – Wednesday. It includes non-alcoholic drinks and will be available throughout August 2020 across the UK.

The scheme will support around 130,000 businesses, protecting jobs of 1.8 million employees, and all participating establishments will be fully reimbursed for the 50% discount.


Temporary VAT cut for food and non-alcoholic drinks

From 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021, the standard 20% rate of VAT will be reduced to 5% for supplies of food and non-alcoholic drinks from restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés and similar premises across the UK, bolstering business and jobs in the hospitality sector.

Further guidance on the scope of this relief will be published by HMRC in the coming days.

Temporary VAT cut for accommodation and attractions

From 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021, the reduced 5% rate of VAT will also apply to supplies of accommodation and admission to attractions across the UK.

Further guidance on the scope of this relief will be published by HMRC in the coming days.

Get in touch

HMRC will continue to publish further guidance in the coming days and weeks, but in the meantime if you have any questions or would like further advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will be happy to help.

Furthermore, our COVID-19 support hub provides detailed information about the support available for you and your business as already announced by the Government.