Coronavirus – Job Support Scheme

JOB SUPPORT SCHEME

Details published by the Government on the “original” Job Support Scheme announced on 24 September 2020 can be found on this factsheet:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/921389/Job_Support_Scheme_Factsheet.pdf

The main points are:

  • The scheme will be open from 1 November 2020 to the end of April 2021.
  • HMRC claims service will be available from early December 2020. Grants will be payable in arrears on a monthly basis.
  • To be eligible, for the first three months of the scheme employees must work at least 33% of their usual hours. After three months, this minimum hours threshold will be reviewed by the Government. Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work.
  • The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third (not subject to a cap). The remaining third will go unpaid (although it is currently unclear if employers can offer extra top-ups at their discretion).
  • The Government contribution will be capped at £697.92 a month.
  • The JSS will not cover employer National Insurance contributions or pension contributions; employers will remain liable for these.
  • All small and medium-sized businesses are eligible, larger businesses must show their turnover has fallen during the pandemic.
  • Employers can use the new scheme even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme.
  • Employees must be on the employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment to that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 23 September 2020.
  • Employers must agree the new short-time working arrangements with the relevant staff, make any changes to the employment contract by agreement and notify the employee in writing.

 

 JOB SUPPORT SCHEME TO FIRMS REQUIRED TO CLOSE DUE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) announced on 24 September 2020 has been expanded.

The main points are:

  • The scheme will be available for six months from 1 November 2020.
  • In line with the rest of the JSS, claims must be made monthly in arrears, via the HMRC claims service that will be available from early December 2020. These payments will be taxable.
  • The Government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.
  • Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages but remain liable for employer National Insurance contributions and automatic enrolment pension contributions. Employers can top up employee pay if they wish.
  • Employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
  • Employees must be on the employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment to that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 23 September 2020.
  • Employers must agree the new scheme with the relevant staff, make any changes to the employment contract by agreement and notify the employee in writing.

In addition to the expansion of the JSS, the Government is increasing the cash grants to businesses in England required to close in local lockdowns. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks.

Further details on the expanded JSS can be found on this factsheet published by the Government: Job Support Scheme Expansion for Closed Business Premises. Further guidance is expected soon.

Please also see our website for more detailed information, including a template letter that you can use to seek agreement from the employee to change their working hours and pay. This letter is not for use if you wish to access the Job Support Scheme because the Government requires your business to close as part of lockdown measures, which means that you are unable to offer an employee any hours of work.

Frequently Asked Questions about the schemes can be found here

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