Just over two months ago the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak had his Summer Economic Update. There he announced a new grant to fund job creation, amongst other measures to tackle the economic downturn due to Covid-19. They would be reimbursing employers for taking on Universal Credit recipients with a job coach if they are under 25. This would be for 25 hours a week at minimum wage for six months. He called this the Kick Start scheme.
Just over a week ago some further information was finally released, and there is good news and bad news.
The Good News
The government is indeed going to fund these kick start job placements. If you are an employer, and you can offer a new role you may be eligible for the scheme. The money you will get is:
- 25 hours a week wages at minimum wage for the employees age. This will range from £4.55 for a 16/17 year old to £8.20 an hour for a 21-24 year old. (Rate for 18-20 year old is £6.45 an hour).
- Employer National Insurance and Pension Contributions where applicable.
- £1,500 one off grant per employee taken on under the scheme to cover overheads of taking the staff member on.
You can take the employee on for more than 25 hours a week, and you can pay them more than the minimum wage However the amount you will be reimbursed will still only be 25 hours a week at minimum wage. There is no obligation to keep the employee on after this period, but you can choose to do so. After the six months there will be no government grants for the same employee.
The Bad News
So, all looks great right? Well there is a slight problem. To apply directly through DWP for kick start, you have to be offering at least 30 job placements. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t think many small to medium businesses are going to be offering that many roles. However there is still a way. The government is allowing businesses and organisations who have past experience managing grant applications to become facilitators for other small businesses, and get them into groups of at least 30.
- The facilitator will be responsible for checking job adverts, making sure it meets the criteria and working with the employer and DWP together.
- Facilitators will get £300 per employee to reimburse them for their time and work in doing this.
- This facilitator will help set up the necessary training for the employees on job skills such as CV writing, interview techniques and time keeping. The employer is expected to pay the facilitator for arranging this. This will be paid out of the £1,500 overheads grant received.
When does it start and how long does it go on for?
So it is starting as soon as possible. Facilitators are just gathering information from DWP to make sure they know their responsibilities. So that they can offer the service to its fullest. Funding is available until December 2021. So in theory you could have 2 x six month job placements in that time.
Once the employee has been taken on, the £1,500 initial grant will be paid within week 1 of the staff member starting. The wages (as well as employers NI and pensions) will be reimbursed in months 2, 4 and 6 of the contract.