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Plan for Jobs

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak presented his ‘Plan for Jobs’ to Parliament on Wednesday 8 July 2020 to outline how the government will boost job creation in the UK following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plan for Jobs 2020

The Chancellor announced a range of measures in his summer statement. The measures which apply to Northern Ireland are as follows:

Job Retention Bonus

This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees. The payment will be paid in February 2021.

Job Retention Bonus terms
Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus for any employees that were eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and they have claimed a grant for.

  • To ensure the jobs are meaningful well-paid, employees must earn at least £520 (the National Insurance lower earnings limit) a month on average between the beginning of November 2020 and the end of January 2021.
  • Those who were furloughed and had a claim submitted for them after the 10 June (when the CJRS closed to new entrants), because they were returning from paternal leave or time serving as a military reservist will also be eligible for the bonus as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria.

Employers will also be eligible for employee transfers protected under TUPE legislation, provided they have been continuously employed and meet the other eligibility criteria and the new employer has also submitted a CJRS claim for that employee.

As the scheme is designed to protect jobs, those who are serving notice for redundancy will not be eligible for the bonus.

Temporary VAT reduction for hospitality and tourism

From 15‌‌‌ ‌July until 12‌‌‌ ‌January 2021, the UK government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol.

This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as visitor attractions such as cinemas, theme parks and zoos.


Hospitality Information

There is a reduction in the rate of VAT from 20% down to 5%. The 5% rate applies to:

  • hot and cold food for consumption on the premises on which they are supplied
  • hot and cold non-alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises on which they are supplied
  • hot takeaway food for consumption off the premises on which they are supplied
  • hot takeaway non-alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises on which they are supplied

However, any supplies of food and drink that are supplied as part of a supply of catering services for consumption off-premises remain standard rated

Definition of Takeaway Food and Drink

The sale of food and drink is standard-rated (or temporarily reduced rated) if the food (or any part of it) is hot at the time that it’s provided to the customer (the precondition), and one or more of the following 5 tests are satisfied, it’s:

  • been heated for the purposes of enabling it to be consumed hot
  • been heated to order
  • been kept hot after being heated
  • provided to a customer in packaging that retains heat (whether or not the packaging was primarily designed for that purpose) or in any other packaging that is specifically designed for hot food
  • advertised or marketed in a way that indicates that it’s supplied hot

Read the full HMRC guidance on the Hospitality VAT reduction

Accommodation Information

There is also a temporary 5% VAT rate on supplies of:

  • provision of sleeping accommodation in:
    • hotels
    • inns
    • boarding houses and similar establishments
  • grant of a license to occupy holiday accommodation and charges for:
    • seasonal pitches for caravans - including supplies of facilities provided in relation to the occupation of the pitches
    • pitches for tents and camping facilities

Read the full HMRC guidance on the Accommodation VAT reduction 

Visitor Attraction Information

The temporary 5% rate also applies to the following: 

  • shows
  • theatres
  • circuses
  • fairs
  • amusement parks
  • concerts
  • museums
  • zoos
  • cinemas
  • exhibitions
  • similar cultural events and facilities

The temporary rate does not apply to admission to sporting events. The reduced rate only applies to admission fees. 

Read the full HMRC guidance on the Visitor Attraction VAT Reduction 

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

This scheme will offer diners 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered. This scheme will run for the month of August.

Businesses will be reimbursed the discount by the Government. Businesses that want to participate in the scheme will have to register here. Registration closes on 31 August.

Find out more about the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme 

Read the full statement on 'Plan for Jobs'

This page was last updated on 31 July 2020.