Recruitment

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Available to customs intermediaries, who complete customs declarations paperwork on behalf of their clients, to cover the associated recruitment costs of hiring a new employee up to a maximum of £13,000 per recruit

Funding to support recruitment of Customs Brokers is available to enterprises which are customs intermediaries and who complete customs declarations paperwork on behalf of their clients (i.e. an enterprise which completes declarations internally for its own goods and benefit is not eligible to apply). This is defined as the preparation of customs declarations paperwork (whether import or export declarations) on behalf of importers or exporters and submission of these to customs authorities, such as HMRC. This includes customs brokers, express operators and freight forwarders.

The recruitment grant will provide funding towards the costs associated with hiring new employees to complete customs declarations or other declarations required to complete customs processes in the UK or EU (such as safety and security declarations), and/or manage customs processes and use customs software and systems. This includes funding for:

  • The indirect costs involved with recruitment including (but not limited to) advertising and marketing, application review and interview time, and on-boarding processes;
  • The direct gross salary costs of the new employee for the first 3 months of employment only.

Please note, only one application can be made for the recruitment grant.

What is excluded from the grant?

  • New recruits with a job role not specific to completing customs processes in the UK or EU (such as safety and security declarations), and/or manage customs processes and use customs software and systems;
  • Businesses who currently do not operate as a customs intermediary, i.e. do not complete customs declarations paperwork on behalf of their clients (i.e. an enterprise which does not complete declarations internally for its own goods and benefit is not eligible to apply);
  • Additional indirect recruitment costs in excess of £3,000;
  • Salary costs for more than 3 months, and/or in excess of £10,000 for 3 months;
  • Contracts of employment between the new employee and the applicant business for less than 6 months.

What are the available funding limits?

You can apply for funding of up to £13,000 per new employee to cover the associated costs of recruitment, provided you can confirm this would not increase the amount of de-minimis state aid received above the €200,000 threshold. De-minimis aid is defined in the EU Commissions Regulation No 1407/2013.

This £13,000 is made up of the administration costs associated with recruiting a new member of staff, e.g. advertising and marketing of new positions, and the salary costs, e.g. gross salary costs of a new member of staff. The following criteria applies to these costs:

Administration costs

For the recruitment of a new employee, this grant will provide a fixed funding amount of £3,000 to be used for any administration costs incurred in relation to recruitment.

Salary costs

This grant will provide funding for three months of the new employee’s gross salary up to a maximum of £10,000.

What are the eligible costs?

All expenditure must be reasonable, appropriate and at normal commercial rates.

What are the time limits on qualifying expenditure?

Please note, qualifying expenditure associated with the recruitment grant, including the recruitment of a new employee, must have been made on or after 1 October 2019 and on or before 31 January 2020. The claim for payment must be made on or before 3 April 2020, and the required evidence of employment must be provided before the full Grant Offer funding will be released.

When will the payments be received?

You will receive payment for the recruitment grant in two separate payments:

First payment: This payment, per new employee, will consist of the £3,000 associated with indirect recruitment costs, and 50% of the expected salary costs (salary costs for 3 months of a new employee up to a maximum of £10,000). For example, the maximum first payment that can be received is £8,000 (£3,000 indirect costs and £5,000 direct/salary costs). Payment will be released to you once your application is deemed complete, reviewed by PwC, and approved by HMRC.

Second payment: This payment will consist of the remaining direct costs associated with the recruitment of new employee, i.e. the remaining 50% of the salary costs (salary costs for 3 months of a new employee up to a maximum of £10,000). Before payment will be released the new employee contract (signed and dated) and new employee payslip must be provided. For example, if you received the maximum of £8,000 in your first payment, and no changes occurred from your initial application, you will receive a further £5,000 (remaining direct/salary costs only).

Please note, if the enterprise is unable to recruit the agreed upon number of employees, the second payment will be adjusted to reflect the actual number of employees recruited. The £3,000 fixed granted component will only be reclaimed where HMRC is not satisfied the business has used its best endeavours to recruit the required personnel.

 
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