Small employers reserve judgement on Government ‘back to work’ plan

Press Releases 11 Mar 2023

FSB responds the Government’s announcement of expected Budget measures related to economic inactivity.

Responding to the Government’s announcement of expected Budget measures related to economic inactivity (issued by HM Treasury under a 2230 Saturday embargo, headline “Chancellor’s ‘back to work’ Budget to boost the economy”), Policy Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Tina McKenzie said:

“Employers will reserve judgement on a ‘back-to-work’ plan until we have seen it in full. Paying those on Universal Credit upfront for childcare is unambiguously welcome – and we hope to see this complimented by other measures to increase availability of care, including FSB’s proposal to scrap business rates for day nurseries.

“There will be understandable scepticism if the plan focuses heavily on increasing work coach contact hours and sanctions at Job Centres. There are ultimately only two ways to get a job – somebody employs you or you employ yourself.

“We urge the Chancellor to launch a Kickstart-style scheme to directly help employers recruit those whose health conditions have frustrated their ambitions to work for a long time, or who have struggled to find their first job. This approach is the key test for the seriousness of a back-to-work plan.

“We want to see much more focus on how resources can be focused on better working with businesses, particularly small firms who find Job Centre Plus difficult to engage with, and we hope to see the new Department for Business and Trade tasked with helping 100,000 more disabled people to start their own businesses through improvement to barriers like poor access to finance.

“Scrapping work capability assessments will be welcomed by many – claimants and employers recruiting alike will want to see this happen quickly. It’s not right that people who want to work are kept away from work through fear of assessments.

“FSB is supportive of Skills Bootcamps and we have been working closely with Government to make sure they can work for older as well as younger workers – we look forward to continued engagement on this.”

Media contact

Alan Soady

Alan Soady

Head of Media & Communications

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.