Government called on to subsidise designers’ salaries

The Federation of Small Businesses is calling on the Government to implement a £1.2bn wage subsidy scheme that could help design groups to avoid making redundancies.

Intended to prevent mass lay-offs, the FSB wants the measure to be introduced ‘as soon as it can – today, if possible’, according to a spokeswoman for the federation.

She adds, ‘The scheme would suit all small businesses, including design businesses. Losing a skilled member of the team can affect a business very badly. This scheme would allow the business to keep going through the downturn.’

Design and other business owners would be able to apply for the Government to pay for up to 60 per cent of an employee’s normal wage for up to six months. The entire scheme could provide support for up to 600 000 workers a year.

In January, the Welsh Assembly announced that it will launch a one-year subsidy scheme called ProAct, that provides employers with a £2000 wage subsidy for workers on short-term hours.

Hide Comments (3)Show Comments (3)
  • Jonathan Butters November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It would be far more effective for the government and the EU to cease funding the University Sector to compete unfairly with private design and innovation businesses. The market can sort itself out as long as it’s not rigged by poorly conceived or managed schemes.

  • Mark Dunk November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    The market is actually in no hurry to sort itself out. A quick look at the website of AIGA will give you an insight into just how much the global recession is going to affect the design industry and it will be those at the bottom of the jobs market, the artworkers and junior designers who will bear the brunt of any cutbacks.

    The real issue at stake here is clearly that, as with the bank bailouts, the government will once again be handing over vast sums of taxpayers money to subsidise not simply as this article suggests workers jobs, but the private profits of both the small business owners and the large corporate clients who use the competition of the subcontracting system to make designers fight for their own jobs and consequently drive down prices.

    Speaking as an unemployed designer who is struggling to find work, I advise all those who are at risk of losing their livelihood to fight back. It is about time that those in the design industry had a strong independent trade union to give us a collective voice in the fight for better job security and fair pay. The recent writers strike in America shows that even in a decentred industry based on short term contracts and agency structures real improvements for workers can be won by decisive action.

    On the 28th March people from across the UK will be gathering in London to protest at the unprecedented rate of cutbacks throughout the whole economy, I suggest that all designers reading this take a look at and think about joining them.

  • tim potts November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Speaking as a designer (layed off in December) – I cant see that a £2000 subsidy per ‘at risk’ staff member is really going to help. This recession is going to last a lot longer than 6 months, and it would be a nightmare to administer & police !

    And what about all the other private sector workers – surely they are just as deserving ? Whose pocket does this subsidy come from – cash cant just be printed (and UK is already borrowed up to the hilt), so it would be diverted from somewhare else (hospitals?).

    Can I suggest that designers are far better than most at solving novel problems – each individual really has to work out their own solution / way forward.

  • Post a comment

Latest articles