Paul Holcroft, Associate Director of Croner comments on the Chancellor’s Spring Statement:
In a Spring Statement marred by a “cloud of Brexit uncertainty”, Chancellor Phillip Hammond revealed that UK employers could stand to benefit from an increase in financial support providing the UK reaches a deal with the EU over Brexit.
This includes a £37bn National Productivity Investment fund to help businesses address the UK’s lagging productivity rate, whilst it was also confirmed that the £700m previously suggested to help small firms take on more apprentices will become available from as early as April 2019.
Changes have also been confirmed for the UK’s visa scheme as foreign nationals applying for PHD level roles will become exempt from the UK’s visa cap from this Autumn, making it easier for employers to recruit highly skilled individuals in the face of an ongoing talent shortage.
In news which may be less welcome by employers and payroll departments, Hammond also announced a review of low pay in Britain which mirrors the government’s recent efforts to improve protections under the Good Work Plan. This could see minimum wage rates increase in the future which is likely to come at a considerable cost to a large number of employers.