The following Frequently Asked Questions and related answers has been shared with the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce. Details may still be subject to change.
Q: How does the Kickstart employer evidence the pastoral care and training requirements of the scheme?
A: Scheduled meetings, training certificates etc, the young person will be encouraged to make sure they are receiving the wraparound support they were promised too.
Q: Which organisation is responsible for the pastoral support of the kickstarter during the placement which has been facilitated by an intermediary – the placement provider, the intermediary, the work coach in DWP office, any other agency?
A: It can be any of these utilising the £1500, so the employer can choose to enter into an arrangement for someone else to provide but if they keep the £1500 it will be them.
Q: Does the location of the placement provider and that of the intermediary need to exactly match?
Q: Can intermediaries work pan-regionally?
Q: If the candidate is matched with an employer and there are travel requirements for the role who is to fund the bus pass or whatever?
A: There are various schemes such as the flexible support fund and access to work.
Q: How does matching between placement provider and Kickstart candidate work? Eg will it be based on preferences of the Kickstart candidate/interview by placement provider/preference based on geographical distance between candidate and employer trading premises?
A: Work coaches in Job Centres will make the decision to refer candidates, this will be a decent pool so the employer can use their normal recruitment processes to choose the best person.
Q: What happens if an employer does not select any of the candidates?
A: More candidates can be referred.
Q: What can the £1500 Set Up fund be used for?
A: This varies in different contexts but expenses to get the person started in the job and wrap around support so the young person is able to become more employable.
Q: Is it a flat payment or contingent on ‘qualifying expenses being incurred’?
A: Flat payment.
Q: Is there any documentary requirement to show which expenses this have been spent on?
A: For assurance and auditing purpose it would be expected, however the exact details will be set out in the grant agreement.
Q: How does a business evidence that the job is additional? If a business has made redundancies as a result of Covid-19 and wants to participate in the Kickstart scheme how can they provide evidence that the Kickstart role isn’t in replacement for the redundant role?
A: Kickstart scheme jobs need to be “additional” so must not be an existing job, albeit one that someone has been made redundant from.
Q: Can kickstarters work remotely/from home, either in full or partly? (eg from a safeguarding/employer liability perspective)?
A: Yes, though the normal liabilities to an employee are incumbent on a Kickstart candidate too.
Q: How would candidates be onboarded remotely if a local lockdown/other covid restrictions become impactful?
A: This happens in non Kickstart jobs, it would be no different for a Kickstart placement.
Q: What happens if the placement fails (either because the Kickstarter isn’t able to fulfil the 6-month commitment, or because the placement really isn’t working for the employer)?
A: We do not expect that every single match will work. We can find the employer another candidate and the young person another Kickstart opportunity.
Q: If an employer starts with one Kickstarter and after 2 months it breaks down, can the employer take on another Kickstarter for the remaining 4 months of the placement period or can they access a new candidate for the full 6 months under a new placement agreement?
A: We would prefer 6 months but an arrangement could be made if it worked for candidate and employer.
Q: Is the £1500 reclaimed by DWP if the placement fails?
A: Not normally but repeat incidences would be investigated.
Q: If the placement provider, having already taken on the Kickstarter, is forced to make redundancy arrangements for their staff, in employment law terms how does the Kickstart employee ‘rank’?
A: There is no ranking, if the employer cannot fulfil the commitment then another opportunity will be looked for, if it can continue since it is at no cost to the employer then as an additional job it should not be part of consideration.
Q: How long will it take from the application being submitted on the portal to the Kickstarter job commencing?
A: It will vary but if there is no backlog of bids, the companies sail through checks, and the employer can interview right away it could be as little as two weeks.
Q: What happens when a DBS check is required? The 5-week turnaround could delay the start of the job. What happens if the DBS fails?
A: If a DBS check was failed the candidate could be referred to another position and the recruitment would start again. I would suggest some element of this is in the advert or the work coach discussion setting out what things might make you likely to fail DBS, e.g. criminal record.
Q: Can the employer take on the kickstater on a permanent basis when the scheme ends?
Q: If the employer does not take on the kickstarter at the end of the replacement, is there any restriction on the employer from applying for a second kickstarter placement?
Q: Can placements commence up to the end of 2021 and run on a bit into 2022 (6 month length) or would they be short, finishing in December or is the last date that placements can start 1 July 2021?
A: Placements end in Dec 2021 but can run six months from that date.
Q: How does the age cut off of 25 work? Is it a test applied at the start of the placement, or does the young person have to leave the scheme when they reach 25?
A: No, it is the age at placement.
Q: How many payments will be made and when? How long will it take for the salary payment to reach the employer once the placement has been confirmed as ongoing?
A: On starting the job there is £1500 for wraparound support and £300 for the intermediary, then wages are paid in arrears in three bi-monthly instalments.
Q: Does the employer have a contract with the DWP or with the intermediary?
A: The intermediary or the employer if they are applying direct.
Q: Will DWP issue a standard contract? If so, when will this be available?
A: The end of September 2020.
Q: Can the employer top up the kickstarter’s wages above the National Living Wage?