DWP Employer News

Monday 8th of June 2015 12:00 AM

DWP Employer News is a monthly update for employers of all sizes. It provides information about help and advice available from Jobcentre Plus and the latest news from across government.

£1,500 Apprenticeship Grant

There’s now extra help for businesses who’d like to recruit an apprentice but who aren’t able to fund it.

Eligible businesses with fewer than 50 employees can claim a grant of £1,500 for each apprentice (up to a maximum of five grants).

The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers supports businesses offering 16 to 24 year olds employment through apprenticeships, if they have not done so in the last 12 months. For further information, please telephone 08000 150 600 or visit the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) web pages.

For more general information on recruiting an apprentice visit the apprenticeships section on GOV.UK.

A share of £1m to help benefit your business - interested?

Are you an employer in either the commercial cleaning, catering or adult social care industries? Do you have an innovative idea around changing patterns of work or job design to enhance productivity?

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) is inviting employer proposals to trial innovations in good job design to benefit low paid women workers.

The target is to reach women who are earning around £10 per hour or less. Such workers, whilst often not high-profile, are critical to the organisations they work for and to the economy as a whole. This competition will allow employers to apply for a share of £1million (up to £180k per employer) to put their solutions into practice, alongside on-going support from UKCES.

The deadline for applications is 13 July 2015. You can find out more online or by emailing enquiries.futuresprogramme@ukces.org.uk.


A traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience, focused on giving young people the skills and experience employers are looking for.  Traineeships are very flexible, and by working closely with an eligible training organisation, you can design a programme which suits your needs and those of the trainee. 
If you are interested in finding out more about employing trainees and the benefits they can bring to your business, download the new Guide to Traineeships or contact the National Apprenticeship Service  for more information. 

The National Apprenticeship Service offers free, impartial advice and support to employers. This includes simplifying the process of finding a trainee through the support of employer focused teams and their Find a traineeship recruitment site on GOV.UK where employers can advertise their opportunities for free.

Tax credits - help your employees renew online

HMRC is asking employers to encourage their staff to renew their tax credits claim online, as soon as possible. If a tax credits claim isn’t renewed before the 31 July deadline, they risk their payments stopping. It's also important your Real Time Information is accurate and up to date, as tax credits your employees receive are based on the earnings you tell us about.

To help your employees renew early and receive the correct tax credits, please encourage them to check the details on your renewal pack and renew their claim online.

If you are able to include a message on payslips, you could use one of these:

- Check your details are correct; renew your tax credits online before the 31 July deadline.”
- Beat the rush; renew your tax credits online.”
- Take care when renewing your tax credits claim.”
-  If you have not received a renewal pack by 30 June, call the Tax Credit Helpline .”

If you produce a staff newsletter or email, you could include the following article to remind staff to renew their tax credits claim.

If you are receiving tax credits then make sure you renew your tax credits claim before the 31 July 2015 deadline or your payments could stop.

Tax credits helplines get very busy in the lead up to the deadline, so beat the rush by renewing online, securely, at any time of day.

Read your renewal pack carefully when you receive it. It’s important you make sure the details on your claim are right, so that you receive the right amount of tax credits. HMRC make checks, so they could contact us as your employer and ask us to provide details of your hours and earnings.

If you need to complete your renewal; do it without delay to make sure you receive the right amount of tax credits.

Visit HMRC to find out more about tax credits.

Fit for Work

The Fit for Work referral service is now rolling out nationwide, with GPs able to refer employed patients who have been, or are likely to be, off work for four weeks or more.

Fit for Work offers employees tailored advice from an occupational health professional to help them return to work as soon as possible – this advice is contained in a Return to Work plan, which you can treat in the same way as a Fit Note.

Fit for Work is currently only available through GPs so you are encouraged to signpost eligible employees to their GPs. Later this year employers will also be able to refer their employees direct to the service.

For more information about Fit for Work in England and Wales and what to do if you receive a Return to Work Plan, visit www.fitforwork.org/employer and sign up for email updates. For information about Fit for Work Scotland, visit http://www.fitforworkscotland.scot/

Practical support for an ageing workforce

The landscape of our workforce is changing as we are living longer, and by 2022 the number of people in the workforce aged 50 to State Pension age will have increased to 13.8 million.

To assist you as an employer in effectively managing your ageing workforce an interactive Employers Toolkit is now available online. Since its launch earlier this year the toolkit has already proved a big hit with business and stakeholders.

DWP is currently working with nine key sectors, including care, retail, manufacturing and health, to develop tailored guidance to meet the specific needs of employers in those areas. We’ll let you know through Employer News when these are available.

If you have any feedback or further suggestions about the toolkits practical use, please send us an email.

Automatic enrolment: New online step-by-step guide

The law on workplace pensions has changed. Every employer with at least one member of staff now has duties, including enrolling those who are eligible into a workplace pension scheme and contributing to it. This is called automatic enrolment.

The best place to start looking for information is The Pensions Regulator’s website. They’ve recently launched an online step-by-step guide which takes you through the various tasks you’ll need to complete and includes links to resources to help you at different steps in the process, including a planning tool.

You’re considered an employer, even if you just employ someone to help you around the home. If you employ a care or support worker, the regulator has some additional guidance that will help you with your legal duties.

If you don’t have any staff other than directors, you may not have any duties – check online to make sure whether automatic enrolment applies to you.

You can keep up to date on automatic enrolment by signing up for email alerts, or visiting The Pension Regulator’s website.

Help us improve our online service

We’d welcome your feedback to help us improve our gov.uk advice pages for employers. If you’d be willing to take part in a 20-30 minute telephone interview then please send us an email and we’ll be in touch.

Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise recognise and reward outstanding UK businesses for International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. There’s also an award for individuals that positively promote enterprise skills in others.

2003 Winner David Hymers from Totalpost sai:d “Since winning the Award, our sales have increased by 20% and our staff numbers have gone up by 25%. Winning this award has given the whole team an extra boost and is leading to more success for us.”

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2016 are free to enter. Visit the Queen's Awards for Enterprise Application webpage for more information.

Category: Funding