Today (24 September 2020), the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a new Job Support Scheme, to start in November, replacing the ‘furlough scheme’. The government will pay part of workers’ wages who have lost hours. The employee must do at least one-third of normal hours and the government and employer will pay one-third each of the lost hours.
Youth Futures Foundation Chief Executive, Anna Smee, commented:
“We welcome the well targeted, temporary ‘Job Support Scheme’ announced by the Chancellor. It is based on strong evidence that short-time work schemes are effective at protecting jobs. Young people who are in work stand to benefit by avoiding a break in their employment history that could otherwise lead to a lifetime loss in earnings of as much as £50,000.
“However, with 13.4% of young people aged 16-24 out of work, compared to 4.1% across all age groups, it is critical that Government ensures young people taking up new low wage or part time jobs can also benefit from the scheme – not just existing employees. This will allow school, college and university leavers to compete in the workforce on a level playing field.
“In addition, we recommend that employers participating in the scheme be required to return a proportion of the benefit paid to the employee by Government if the staff member is made redundant within three months of the Job Support Scheme ending. This will ensure Government subsidy flows towards good quality, sustainable work rather than temporary, insecure jobs.”