Budget 2020 overview
- Date: Wednesday 18th March 2020
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Did you follow updates on the 2020 Budget? Beyond the news of huge cash injections for the NHS and relief for small businesses, the following may have a direct impact on businesses employing people.
HM Treasury's Budget documents revealed it would go ahead with the introduction of a £3 billion "National Skills Fund" to improve the technical skills of adults in the UK. It will consult on how the fund should be targeted to ensure it can help people gain the skills they need for "rewarding, well-paid jobs". It also committed to improving the apprenticeship levy, but no date was given for such a review. However, it said the government would ensure "sufficient funding" is available in 2020-21 to support apprenticeships undertaken during this period.
The government will also provide £95 million for education providers in England to invest in high-quality facilities and equipment to support the roll out of T-levels - the technical skills alternative to A-levels. The funding will support T-levels being delivered from autumn 2021, in fields including construction, digital, and health and science.
The Budget included a provision to allow parents of premature babies to claim an additional £160 per week for every week their child is in neonatal care, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. No further details were given about when this entitlement would be introduced. The government will also be considering how a statutory carers' leave entitlement would be designed, with a consultation expected to be published shortly. It said the new entitlement would apply to employees with unpaid caring responsibilities for family members or dependents.
Employers' national insurance costs
As well as reductions in business rates and measures to reduce the impact of coronavirus on businesses, several other plans were laid out that are expected to reduce the costs associated with employing people. The employment allowance for national insurance contributions (NICs) will increased from £3,000 to £4,000 from April 2020.
Jobs in science and research
HM Treasury said its budget "supports the development of the high-tech, high-skill jobs of the future". Public research and development investment will be increased to £22 billion per year by 2024-25.
A £400 million funding boost will be given in 2020-21 for "world-leading" research, infrastructure and equipment, while a further £300 million will be invested in experimental mathematical research to help attract global talent over the next five years. This will "double funding for new PhDs and boost the number of maths fellowships and research projects", it said.
For non-UK nationals moving to the UK, the Immigration Health Surchard (IHS) will increase from £400 to £624, with a rate of £470 for children. For students and those entering on the youth mobility scheme the surcharge will rise from £300 to £470. This will also be applied to EEA nationals.