News item

HR implications of the 2021 Budget

4th March 2021

A number of the measures announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in yesterday’s Budget will be of interest to those working in Education HR:


  • The extension of the apprenticeship hiring incentive in England to September 2021 and an increase in the level of payment to £3,000 (from £1,500, or £2000 for those aged 24 and under). At the time of writing guidance has yet to be updated but it is expected that eligibility will mirror the current arrangements whereby the payment is only available for new hires joining after 1 August 2020 and is not available to existing employees starting an apprenticeship.
  • A new “flexi-job” apprenticeship programme commencing in July 2021 in England, that will enable apprentices to work with a number of employers in one sector; at the time of writing no published guidance is available.

Extension of Coronavirus Job Support Scheme

  • The extension of the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme from 1 May to 30 September 2021. The government has published updated guidance and a policy paper detailing how the scheme will be extended, showing that employers will be responsible for funding employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions from 1 May until 30 September. There will be a tapering off of the government contribution to wages for hours not worked between July and September. 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

  • A continuation of temporary changes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to coronavirus. The temporary changes introduced in March 2020 to allow employers with fewer than 250 employees to reclaim up to two weeks of SSP costs per employee will continue for the time being.