COVID-19 vaccine will slow business uptake of the Job Retention Scheme
Emma Greedy, December 18, 2020
The Job Retention Scheme (JRS) will continue to be a lifeline for some businesses in 2021, however fewer HR leaders will be using the scheme in the new year thanks to optimism around the coronavirus vaccine.
A survey taken by Howden Employee Benefits and Wellbeing at its employment webinar asked 192 senior HR and finance professionals if they would continue using the JRS next year.
While 57% said they had used the JRS for some of its employees in 2020, only 30% said they would continue using the scheme in 2021.
Thirty-eight per cent said they had used the scheme this year, however 57% said they would not be using it at all next year.
Just 12% of respondents said they had not yet made a decision on whether they would be using the scheme next year or not.
Speaking to HR magazine, Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy at Howden, said: “The survey’s results show that employers are feeling more confident about the prospects for business now that the vaccine has begun circulating.”
The survey also asked respondents what their expectations are for their organisation in 2021.
While 5% said they expected to significantly increase employee numbers, only 39% said they expected to slightly increase them.
Herbert added: “This is important as it may indicate that a quick bounce-back in the national economy could be on the cards. The most likely overall factor is that employers recognise that when the economy finally does fully re-open, there will be an awful lot of pent-up demand.
“Put simply both individuals and corporates have not been able to spend in the last year, and when they are finally able to do so it might well result in a short burst of economic activity that will benefit the nation and employers alike.”
The employers surveyed by Howden came from a range of private, public, and third sector organisations.