We hope you are well and continuing to work through these strange times. With schools now returning we are certainly seeing an increase in traffic on the roads and clients in general seem to be moving back to some sort of normality.
You can find all the latest Barnett Ravenscroft and business news in our newsletter below. If you would like to talk through any particular points, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Kickstart scheme launches in November
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched the Kickstart Scheme, designed to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
The £2 billion Kickstart Scheme is designed to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country.
The 6-month placements are open to those aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. They will be available across a range of different sectors in England, Scotland and Wales. The first placements are likely to be available from November.
Employers will receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions.
There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart funded job.
If you are an employer looking to create jobs placements for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the scheme.
Who can apply
You can submit your application online.
If you are applying for 30 or more job placements, you can apply directly.
If you are applying for less than 30 job placements, you must apply through a representative of a group of employers. They can submit an application on your behalf, using other employers to create 30 or more job placements in one application.
What you need to provide during the application
You will need:
- the Companies House reference number or Charity Commission number
- the organisation address and contact details
- details of the job placements and their location
- supporting information to show that the job placements are new jobs and meet the Kickstart Scheme criteria
- information about the support the organisation can give to develop employability skills of young people
After you have applied
Your application will be reviewed to check it meets the requirements of the Kickstart Scheme. It will then go to a panel for consideration. This is not a competitive process, but Kickstart will only provide funding when the job placements meet the criteria.
DWP aims to respond to applications within 1 month.
If your application is successful
If your application meets the requirements of the scheme, you will receive a letter with a grant agreement. This agreement will include what your company has agreed to provide, and how much funding you will receive from the Kickstart Scheme.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is changing
From 1 September, businesses that have put staff on furlough will have to pay 10% of their wages. This will rise to 20% the following month, before the scheme ends on 31 October.
The step by step guide for employers has been updated and can be seen here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-step-by-step-guide-for-employers?utm_source=8b21f2f9-507f-4ee6-ab3f-8b31380a33e9&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
Child Trust Funds
18-year olds now get a chance to access their Child Trust funds! Children born from September 2002 were given vouchers by the Government. The government initially put £250 into the tax-free account during a child’s first year, then added another £250 when he or she reached the age of seven. For lower-income families, the payment was £500. with access to the money at 18. Parents, family and friends could also contribute to the account, up to set limits. The scheme was ended in January 2011.
Contract cancellations and refunds due to Coronavirus
There are a wide range of contracts that have been affected due to the pandemic.
The statement outlined below replaces what was published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on 30 April 2020. The CMA’s view remains that a consumer will generally be entitled to a refund when they have paid money in advance for services or goods that cannot be provided because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the circumstances and public health measures relating to the pandemic have developed over time, CMA have updated the statement to cover additional issues. This now covers contracts that cannot go ahead due to lockdown laws, limited exceptions to full refunds, ongoing contracts, non-refundable payments and fees, credits and rebooking and payments for future services.
It also outlines contracts that are partially affected by lockdown laws, changing terms in existing contracts during the pandemic, terms in new contracts which relate to the coronavirus and cancellation relating to Government guidance and cancellation under the standard terms and conditions of a contract.
This does sound a heavy read! But it is important that you are aware that the guidance exists and about the relationship between businesses and customers. If you have any issues with contracts entered into and need expert advice please talk to us and we can recommend a local solicitor to help.
Guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities
This updated guidance provides advice to landlords and tenants on the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020, and further advice for landlords, tenants and local authorities more broadly about their rights and responsibilities during the COVID-19 outbreak. It covers rent, mortgage payments and possession proceedings, court action, repairs, maintenance and health and safety.