Almost one million employers are benefitting from the Employment Allowance across the UK, according to new figures.
Introduced in April 2014, the allowance is available to businesses, charities and amateur sports clubs and allows employers to reduce their class 1 national insurance contributions by a maximum of £2,000 in the tax year. Around 1.25 million UK employers are eligible to claim the allowance.
HM Revenue & Customs data released on 7 November revealed that 856,000 UK employers have so far claimed the allowance.
By employer size, the highest take-up rate is among UK businesses with ten to 49 employees (73 per cent) followed by those with one to nine (68 per cent).
However, among employers with 50-249 employees, the take-up rate fell to 56 per cent and for the biggest businesses, those with 250 or more employees, it was just 35 per cent.
The new data coincided with the publication of a Federation of Small Business survey that found 18 per cent of small firms had used the allowance to increase wages, with the same percentage investing in equipment, machinery or premises and 17 per cent hiring additional staff.