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Does the Chancellor’s extended wage protection and loan schemes go far enough?

Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy - APSCo

The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has welcomed the further support announced by the Chancellor to support businesses and viable jobs beyond 31st October,  but calls for further support on training.

Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo commented: “Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of further restrictions to combat the spread of the virus, there was clearly a need to provide additional financial support to struggling businesses and secure jobs. Consequently, we welcome the new measures outlined by the Chancellor, in respect of Bounce-back Loans and CBILS, as we know that many of our members were very concerned about the prospects of repayment schedules next year.

“We are also pleased to see additional job support once the current furlough scheme ends on 31st October. Requiring employees to work a minimum of 33% of normal hours is, in our view, a sensible option as employees on long term furlough need to get back to work, even if for a limited time. The Job Support Scheme will help our members maintain headcount during the on-going uncertainty, albeit we fear there may still be redundancies.

“However, there is no mention of incentives to provide training for individuals during the Job Support Scheme.  We will continue to call for a relaxation on the use of the Apprenticeship Levy funds to enable businesses to up-skill their workforce during periods of downtime. We are also keen to understand more about the prospect of larger firms being able to claim the Job Support Scheme if their “turnover has fallen” during crisis.

“It is still a concern that the existing gap of support for PSC contractors working outside IR35 remains, although we note such individuals can extend payment of taxes due under self-assessment for 12 months from next January.

“Our recent research has shown green shoots of growth in the economy over the last quarter but many of our members are concerned about the impact of the return to widespread home working. We continue to face tough times, but recruiters can better weather the storm with the right support.  APSCo will continue to provide resources, guidance and insight to its members flowing from its direct access to Government and relationships with industry experts”

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