Agency Workers: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Treasury written question – answered on 3rd February 2021.

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Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what financial support he is making available to agency workers who cannot find work and whose agencies will not furlough those workers because they are unwilling or unable to pay national insurance contributions and pension costs.

Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Labour, Sheffield Central

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to introduce a redress scheme for people who have been refused furlough by employers during the covid-19 outbreak because of claims that their employer is unable to afford national insurance and pension contributions.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

Since November, employers are only asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This is lower than the previous level in September and October, and for an average claim accounts for just 5 per cent of total employment costs, or £70 per employee per month. Furthermore, many small employers can benefit from the Employment Allowance for support with their NICs bill, and, since March, businesses have received billions in loans, tax deferrals, Business Rate reliefs, and general and sector-specific grants. This support can be used by businesses to cover the costs of NICs and pension contributions, ensuring that they can continue to furlough their employees.

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