Monday, 31 August 2020

What Government help is there for the Construction industry? Are you able to get help

Recently there have been many challenges for all of us regardless of what industry we're in. It has been a tough time with so many set backs and the construction industry is no different...we are needed!

We are needed to build hospitals, infrastructure, homes and businesses. all whilst keeping our heads afloat ourselves. We have had to struggle with getting supplies; delays on materials have pulled us into delayed deadlines and ultimately less work. The restrictions on site to maintain a Covid safe environment have enforced a slower pace of work. We have had to manage a new way of working as well as a new way of living. So far we have adapted well, it may have taken some time but slowly we are moving towards a new sense of normal. But what help is out there for us? I have recently written about the new levels of Stamp Duty and the Green Energy Scheme, but what else is there to help pull us through these challenging times?

A jobs Retention Bonus scheme has been introduced. This is set out to help keep any furloughed employees working. I know that a lot of people who work in construction are self employed or contracted so this won't necessarily be beneficial to everyone but there will be some of us out there that this will apply to. Essentially if your company has furloughed employees this applies to you. For each employee that you furloughed and who still maintains their job as of 31st January 2021 you will receive a bonus of £1k per employee. The Government realises that this is a tough time and that this will hopefully kick-start employers to keep on their workers in an effort to get back to normal.

The Government is also extremely keen, understandably, to get people who don't have work, get back into work. Another scheme allows for thousands of new fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. The age range for these people will be between 16-24 and they are for those claiming Universal Credit. Unfortunately this age group, through no fault of their own, could be stuck in a situation that they will struggle to get out of.   The funding for this scheme will be available for a 6 month job placement and 100% of the wages will be covered at National Minimum Wage level for up to 25 hours a week. As an employer you will be able to top up these wages should you see fit.  This is a fantastic way to not only allow other people to get back into work but to also keep the economy going and businesses running.

Further funding is going to be made available for training and apprenticeships. Businesses will be given £2k for each new apprentice that they hire under the age of 25.  As we have navigated through these last few months it has become clear that although we, as an industry, are very good at adapting, we do need to find a clear path forward.  With the help that is at hand it can only benefit us to move in the right direction. Yes we will still find bumps in the road and there may well still be a delay on a lot of materials but this isn't going to last forever. Lets inject time and resources back into our businesses and the industry and with the help of the Government there really isn't a better time. The future looks bright in comparison and I have no doubt that we are able to deliver.

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