Chancellor unveils Job Retention Bonus

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new bonus scheme for firms that re-employ furloughed workers.

He told the Commons that any employer who brings someone back off furlough, and keeps them in a job until January, will get a £1,000 bonus per person from the government.

To get the new Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 per person, firms must pay workers at least £520 each month.

If everyone on furlough were to benefit, the new scheme could cost the government £9bn, he said.

The Chancellor had earlier told the Commons that furlough could not and should not go on forever, though he said ending it would be “a difficult moment.

He said he would never accept unemployment as an inevitable outcome to a 25 per cent decline in national income in two months. The job of protecting employment had only just started.

The Chancellor also announced a new Kickstart Scheme. Under it, the government will subsidise six-month work placements for people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24, who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

I urge every employer big or small to hire as many kickstarters as possible.

It will amount to a grant worth around £6,500 per young person. The Chancellor told the Commons £2bn is being made available now and there will be no cap on the number of places funded.

He said: The Kickstart Scheme will directly pay employers to create new jobs for any 16 to 24-year-old at risk of long-term unemployment.

These will be decent jobs – with a minimum of 25 hours per week paid at least the National Minimum Wage.

I urge every employer big or small to hire as many kickstarters as possible.

Mr Sunak also announced more funding for careers advisers, and more traineeships.  

The government will pay employers £1,000 to take on trainees.

There will be a new £2,000 payment for businesses to encourage them take on apprentices.

Other announcements in his summer economic update include £2bn to be spent on a new green homes grant.

A temporary holiday on stamp duty on the first £500,000 of all property sales will run until March 31 next year.

VAT on tourism and hospitality will be reduced, from next Wednesday until January 12, from 20 per cent to five per cent.

The government will also give everyone 50 per cent off meals in participating restaurants during August.

The Eat Out to Help Out discount will go up to £10 per head for adults and children, and apply Monday to Wednesday.