Cut employer costs to complement furlough extension, small firms urge

Press Releases 3 Mar 2021

FSB responds to Budget 2021 latest.

Responding to the announcement that the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) will be extended and sole traders with a 2019/20 tax return will be included in the next rounds of Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said:

“This announcement will bring hope to millions of business owners – small employer and sole trader alike. It’s absolutely right that support measures evolve to reflect ongoing restrictions, and it’s good to see such evolution today. Giving firms the ability to furlough staff over a summer that we hope will bear the first green shoots of recovery will enable them to plan ahead. 

“We’ve worked hard with others to secure help for the newly self-employed, and it will be a great relief to hundreds of thousands of sole traders to see that help delivered today. We look forward to these measures being cemented in a truly pro-small business Budget tomorrow.

“That said, piling new wage costs on to the most precarious small employers on top of national insurance and pension contributions from July will put many under serious pressure, just at the moment when they should be starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.  

“This much-needed furlough extension should be complemented by further measures to bring down employment costs, helping small firms to both retain and create jobs. The reintroduction of a job retention bonus and a reduction in employer national insurance contributions would hugely aid efforts to get our economy firing on all cylinders again, both before and after furlough ends.

“Company directors will be extremely disappointed to see that they appear to have been left out in the cold yet again. We hope the Government fixes this entirely solvable flaw in their approach to support tomorrow.”


Media contact

Matt Dickinson

Matt Dickinson

Deputy Head of Media & Communications

[email protected]
07525 801773

About FSB

As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.

FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.