The Budget: employment implications


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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a rise in national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) rates in his Budget speech on 27 October. 

The rise in rates will apply from 1 April 2022.

  • The NLW for those over 23 will rise from £8.91 to £9.50
  • The NMW for those aged 21 to 22 will rise from £8.36 to £9.18.
  • The NMW for those aged 18 to 20 will rise from £6.56 to £6.83.
  • The NMW for those aged under 18 will rise from £4.62 to £4.81

Meanwhile the apprentice rate will rise from £4.30 to £4.81.

On 4 October a £500 million expansion of the government's Plan for Jobs initiative was announced which will target support to workers leaving the furlough scheme, the unemployed aged over 50, the lowest paid and young people.  In his Budget speech the Chancellor announced that there will be further investment intended to boost opportunities for people to upskill and retrain, together with an increase in apprenticeships funding.  There will be an enhanced recruitment service available by May 2022 to help small and medium-sized enterprises hire new apprentices.  The government will also consider changes to the provider payment profiles aimed at giving employers more choice over how the apprenticeship training is delivered.  It also plans to introduce a return-on-investment tool in October 2022 to enable employers to see the benefits apprentices create in their business.

Finally there will be an extension of the £3,000 apprentice hiring incentive for employers under 31 January 2022 and investment in the Sector Based Work Academy Programme (SWAPs) which give unemployed people the opportunity to undertake work experience, learn new skills and retrain into high-demand sectors in their local area.

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