The Scottish government must take action to help high-street businesses, such as employment agencies, to benefit from business rates relief. Recruiters with shops on the high street need this relief in the same way retailers do to survive lockdown the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has said.
Some Scottish high-street businesses, like shops and cinemas, currently benefit from a 100% discount on their business rates while they are unable to trade because of COVID-19. Many others however, including employment agencies, are not yet eligible for this support. As a result they are facing a cashflow crisis which could result in many going bust when they are needed most.
David Creighton, National Account Manager for Scotland at the REC, said:
“The priority after the lockdown needs to be getting the economy back up on its feet. Extending the full business rate discount to employment agencies, as has happened in England, means that coming out of the lockdown we’ll have a recruitment industry that’s ready to play its part helping people back into work quickly.
“Tens of thousands of people across Scotland are furloughed or facing redundancy because of the pandemic. Helping people find jobs and supporting businesses in difficult times is exactly what the recruitment industry is here for. But just when they are needed most, employment agencies are facing a real cash crisis. The support for businesses through COVID-19 has been a positive step. But more can be done to make sure that when we do come through it, we’ll have what we need to take off again.”
In England the full business rate discount was extended to employment businesses, recognising the important role the industry will play in getting people back into work quickly after the lockdown.