News story

Hundreds of thousands of small businesses supported by the Employment Allowance

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Over 850,000 employers are benefitting from the Employment Allowance across the UK.

New data released today reveals how over 850,000 UK employers are benefitting from the Employment Allowance in each region and sector across the UK.

The Employment Allowance is a reduction in National Insurance Contributions (NICs) that an employer pays on their employees, and is worth up to £2000 for eligible businesses and charities.

Within the first six months of its launch over 850,000 employers across the UK had benefitted from the Employment Allowance. This number is expected to increase throughout the remainder of the tax year.

Use the Employment Allowance calculator to work out if your business could benefit.

Announced at Budget 2013, the allowance is simple to claim and easy to administer. Businesses simply confirm their eligibility for the allowance through their regular payroll processes.

The new data coincides with a recent survey by the FSB amongst small businesses about the allowance which found that many small businesses have used it to invest in staff. 18% have used it to increase wages, 17% to hire additional staff, 12% for training, and 8% for more staff hours for current staff.

Want see the Employment Allowance stats in your local area? Visit our map to see those and other information about your local economy.

18% of small businesses surveyed have used it to invest in their businesses through equipment, machinery, or premises.

Chancellor George Osborne said:

Today’s figures show that half way through its first year over 850,000 businesses across Britain have already benefited from a cashback on jobs.

Businesses across the country can claim a cut in their National Insurance bill, worth up to £2,000, thanks to the Employment Allowance – and if they haven’t already then I urge them to do so.

This tax cut is part of our long term economic plan to back businesses investing in jobs. That is how you deliver greater economic security for hardworking people.

John Allan, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said:

We’re really pleased to see so many businesses already taking advantage of the Employment Allowance. We called on government to help small employers invest in staff, and now we see how this additional support has been spent.

Our members have used the Allowance by paying workers more, hiring new people and increasing training. It’s also good to see a quarter of those that used the allowance to hire new staff took on an apprentice. We will work with government to raise the profile of the Employment Allowance so all the firms eligible, claim it.

Breakdown by region

Region Number of employers benefitting from Employment Allowance Estimated take-up rate
North East 26,000 70%
North West 87,000 65%
Yorkshire and the Humber 66,000 75%
East Midlands 59,000 70%
West Midlands 69,000 70%
East of England 84,000 69%
London 130,000 65%
South East 127,000 65%
South West 80,000 70%
Northern Ireland 23,000 73%
Scotland 68,000 72%
UK 856,000 -

Breakdown by sector

Sector Number of employers benefitting from Employment Allowance As a proportion of total number of employers benefitting
Accommodation and food service activities 77,000 9%
Administrative and support service activities 58,000 7%
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 29,000 3%
Arts, entertainment and recreation 19,000 2%
Construction 106,000 12%
Education 9,000 1%
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply <1,000 <1%
Financial and insurance activities 6,000 <1%
Human health and social work activities 7,000 <1%
Information and communication 59,000 7%
Manufacturing 75,000 9%
Mining and quarrying <1,000 <1%
Other service activities (trade unions, household goods repairs, hairdressing etc) 36,000 4%
Professional, scientific and technical activities 131,000 15%
Real estate activities 20,000 2%
Transportation and storage 27,000 3%
Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 4,000 <1%
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 191,000 22%

Image by Mary Crandall on Flickr. Used under creative commons.