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Job Support Scheme

25th Sep 2020

First announced on the 24th September 2020, the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) is due to launch on the 1st November, the day after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ends.

Under the scheme, which will run for 6 months until the 30th of April 2021, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer hours than normal due to decreased demand.

Employers will continue to pay the wages for the hours worked. For the hours not worked, the employer and the government will each pay one-third of their usual wages capped at £697.92 per month. Employers will need to meet your share of the pay for unworked hours and all NI and statutory pension contributions from their own funds. This means that employees will receive at least 2-thirds of their usual wages for the hours not worked.

Grants will be paid for in arrears on a monthly basis. Employers will only be able to make a claim after the pay date and all RTI submissions have been made.

JSS will be open to employers across the UK even if you have not previously applied for assistance under the CJRS. The scheme will operate in addition to the Job Retention Bonus (JRB).

Who is eligible?

  • All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant.
  • Large businesses will have to meet a financial assessment test, so the scheme is only available to those whose turnover is lower now than before experiencing difficulties from COVID-19. There will be no financial assessment test for small and medium enterprises (SME’s).
  • The expectation is that large employers using JSS will not be making capital distributions, such as dividend payments or share buybacks, whilst assessing the grant.

Further details will be set out in the published guidance, expected mid-October 2020.

Employees

  • Employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 23 September. 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.
  • In order to support viable jobs, for the first 3 months of the scheme the employee must work at least 33% of their usual hours, e.g. a worker whose usual hours is 40 per week must work at least 13.2 hours per week to qualify in the first 3 months. The government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold.
  • Employees will be able to cycle on and off the scheme and do not have to be working the same pattern each month, but a short-time working arrangement must cover a minimum period of 7 days.
  • For the time worked, employees must be paid their normal contracted wage.
  • For time not worked, the employee will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual wage.
  • Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice for redundancy during the period within which their employer is claiming the grant for that employee.

What does the grant cover?

  • For every hour not worked by the employee, both the Government and employer will pay a third each of the usual hourly wage for that employee. The government contribution will be capped at £697.92 a month.
  • The grant will NOT cover Class 1 employer NIC’s or pension contributions, these will remain payable by the employer.
  • “Usual wages” calculations will follow a similar methodology as for CJRS. Employees who have previously been furloughed will have their underlying usual pay and/or hours used to calculate usual wages, not the amount they paid whilst on furlough.

Further details will be set out in the published guidance, expected mid-October 2020.

While we await the detailed guidance to be published by HMRC you can read their outlined factsheet HERE.