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On Wednesday 2 September, the government finally published details of the Kickstart scheme announced by the Chancellor earlier in the summer. In this article, we explore the details of the scheme and cover all the important points that employers need to know ahead of the scheme’s launch.
The scheme is aimed at helping unemployed young people get a foothold on the career ladder by funding six-month job placements. Under the scheme, the government will directly pay employers to create these placements. The scheme is available in England, Scotland, and Wales.
Funding will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also funding available of £1,500 per job placement to cover the initial set up costs and the costs of training and support. Funding is only available where an employer has made a successful application to the scheme.
One of the surprising elements of the scheme is that applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. While this would seem to put it beyond the scope of most small to medium businesses, the guidance says that if you can’t offer this many placements, you can partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number.
You can do this either through:
If an employer is creating at least 30 placements, they can apply online directly. If they are creating less than 30 placements, they will need to apply through a representative of a group of employers who together are creating a minimum of 30 placements. The application must include the following:
The set-up costs will be paid when an employer has confirmed that the person has started work, is enrolled on their payroll and is being paid through PAYE. DWP will pay the grant in arrears, using information from HMRC to check that the person is still employed.
During the placement, DWP may contact the employer or employee to check the support they’re receiving to ensure the employee is getting the best experience from the scheme.
Yes, the guidance makes it clear that once a placement has been created and a first successful applicant has completed the six-month term, the employer can take on a second worker on the placement.
Employers can get additional help by contacting either their local employer contact or the national employer contact if the business is located across several regions. The guidance states a reply should be received within 2 days.
If you’ve got any questions on how the Kickstart scheme works – or how you can make it work for your business – our HR and Employment Law team are only ever at the end of the phone. Just give our 24/7 advice line a call on 0345 844 4848.
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