Blog: Spring Statement 2023: Employment
Employment is one of Jeremy Hunt’s four priority pillars of sustainable growth in the Spring Statement 2023. He said “We need to plug the skills gaps and give people the qualifications, support and incentives they need to get into work. Through this plan, we can address labour shortages, bring down inflation, and put Britain back on a path to growth.”
We have covered our 6 key takeaways for UK businesses in a previous post, so here are the key employment announcements:
- The LTA is the total amount you can put in your private pension pot before tax. The cap was due to stay at £1,073,100 until 2026, but workers will now be able to make unlimited pension contributions during their lifetime.
- Meanwhile, the annual allowance – the maximum tax-free amount people can pay into private pensions per year – will rise by 50% from £40,000 to £60,000.
According to the British Medical Association, the current LTA rate is “punitive”, and encourages senior doctors to leave the NHS. Hunt hopes that abolishing the LTA and raising the annual allowance will address doctors’ concerns, as well as encourage older workers across the UK to return to the workforce.
The Government is removing one of the biggest barriers to parents working, by substantially increasing the amount of free childcare that working families can access. The Government will provide over £4.1 billion by 2027-28 to fund 30 free hours per week for working parents with children aged 9 months up to 3 years in England, where eligibility will match the existing 3- to 4-year-old 30 hours offer.
Stay close programme
The Spring Budget 2023 also announced under the Employment pillar to help young people leaving residential care into employment. The Government is providing an additional £8.1 million in each of the next 2 years to expand the Staying Close programme to around half of local authorities by March 2025.
Long-term sick and disabled
- The Government will modernise and digitise mental health services in England, providing wellness and clinical grade apps free at the point of use, piloting cutting-edge digital therapies, and digitising the NHS Talking Therapies programme.
- A new supported employment programme for disabled people and those with long-term health conditions in England and Wales, matching participants with open market jobs and funding support and training.