§ Mrs. Fenner
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give details of the changes to the temporary short-time working compensation scheme he announced on Friday 21 November.
§ Mr. Jim Lester
The temporary short-time working compensation scheme has been extended to enable jobs to be supported for a maximum period of nine months instead of six months as hitherto. At the sme time, to finance the extension, the rate of reimbursement has been reduced from 75 per cent. to 50 per cent. of normal pay for workless days, and holiday pay credits will no longer be reimbursed; however, employers' national insurance contributions related to the days without work will continue to be reimbursed.
These changes took effect on the date of the announcement — 21 November. The scheme has also been renewed for a further year so that it is now open for application until 31 March 1982.47W
The Government will stand by their commitment to firms whose applications are still current. All applications received by Friday 21 November, which had not expired on or before Wednesday 19 November, will continue to receive reimbursement at the 75 per cent. rate —including holiday pay credits where appropriate—for the remainder of their six month period of support. They will then be eligible for a further three months support—at the new rate and with no reimbursement for holiday pay credits. However, since it is an essential condition of the scheme that the period of support should be continuous and that firms can apply only once for the same jobs, it will not be possible to provide any further support for jobs covered by applications which expired on or before Wednesday 19 November.
All applications received after the date of the announcement will be eligible for up to nine months support at the 50 per cent. rate.
The Department of Employment will contact all employers with current applications to explain how the changes will affect them.