The Job Support Scheme: Announcement of Additional Measures
On Thursday 22 October 2020 the Chancellor announced a significant increase in the government’s funding under the Job Support Scheme (JSS), a package of measures originally announced on 24 September 2020 to protect jobs and support businesses impacted by Coronavirus throughout the winter months which will open on 1 November 2020 and will run for six months. We set out below the details of this recent announcement.
We will continue to monitor any relevant development/announcement, therefore please speak to your usual Statura contact should you wish to discuss in more detail the content of this document or indeed the way in which the Covid-19 outbreak is affecting your business.
Job Support Scheme
The Job Support Scheme provides different types of support to these businesses so they can get the right assistance, at the right time, according to their situation. In particular, businesses that are operating but facing decreased demand can get support for wages through "JSS Open" while those businesses that are legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions can get the support they need through "JSS Closed".
These new JSS provisions are significantly more generous than the ones previously announced (please also refer to our September Newsletter "The Winter Economy Plan and the Job Support Scheme") although not as far reaching as the the original Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (i.e. the furlough scheme).
JSS Open will provide support to businesses that are open where employees are working shorter hours due to reduced demand.
- Employees will need to work at least 20% of their usual hours;
- The Employer will continue to pay employees for the hours they work;
- The UK government will pay a contribution of 61.67% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month (the cap is reduced according to the proportion of hours not worked);
- The employer will pay 5% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month (the cap is reduced according to the proportion of hours not worked) and can top this up further if they choose.
- The employer will need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
This means employees should receive at least two thirds of their usual pay for hours not worked.
JSS Closed will provide support to businesses whose premises are legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one of the four governments of the UK. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection-only services from their premises, and those restricted to providing food and/or drinks outdoors.
- The UK government will fund two thirds of employees' usual wages for time not worked, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month.
- The employer will not be required to contribute but can top up the government’s contribution if they choose to.
- The employer will still need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
Employees who can be claimed for (JSS Open and JSS Closed)
- Eligible employers will be able to claim the Job Support Scheme grant for employees who were on their PAYE payroll between 6 April 2019 and 11:59pm on 23 September 2020.
- Employers can only claim for employees that were in their employment on 23 September 2020. If employees ceased employment after 23 of September 2020 and were subsequently rehired, then employers can claim for them.
- Employees can be on any type of contract, including zero hours or temporary contracts. Agency workers are regarded as employees of an employment agency for the purposes of this scheme.
- Employees do not need to have been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to be eligible for the Job Support Scheme.
- Employers cannot claim both JSS Open and JSS Closed in respect of a single employee for the same day.
The policy paper says that more details and clarifications about employee eligibility will be available in further guidance before the end of October.
A reminder of other relevant measures announced
Job Retention Bonus
Employers will be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee they furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), kept continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021 and who meets the other eligibility criteria.
Employers do not have to pay this money to your employee and will be able to claim the bonus between 15 February and 31 March 2021. To do this the employer must have submitted PAYE information for the period up to 5 February 2021 on time.
Please also refer to our July Newsletter "Job Retention Bonus, Cuts to VAT and Stamp Duty Land Tax".