Skip to main content

Small Businesses: Labour Turnover

Question for Treasury

UIN HL538, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to assist small businesses staff retention rates.

Answered on

4 June 2021

In order to support businesses, including small businesses, to retain their employees and protect the UK economy, at the Budget the Chancellor extended both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) until September 2021. Moreover, the Government is also providing support to small businesses through other schemes that reduce their fixed costs and increase certainty, supporting them in retaining staff through the pandemic and the reopening of the economy.

For example, in England, about a million business properties received over £11.6 billion worth of grants through the Small Business Grant Fund, the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, and the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund. These schemes provided support to small businesses in some of the sectors hit hardest by COVID-19, with applications accepted between March and August 2020. Local authorities are also receiving over £2 billion of funding through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), providing local councils with grant funding to support businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are affected by COVID-19 restrictions, such as small businesses in their communities.

At the 2020 Summer Economic Update, the Government introduced the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who may face abnormally large SSP costs caused by COVID-19 related staff absences. This refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because they have been ill with COVID-19 or have had to self-isolate because of it and are unable to work from home. At Spring Budget 2021 the Government temporarily extended this measure.

Moreover, eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will benefit from business rates relief worth over £6 billion in 2021-22. The Government is also providing a Restart Grant of up to £18,000 to over 680,000 business premises, giving them the cash certainty they need to plan ahead and relaunch trading safely over the coming months.

Answered by