The Job Support Scheme (JSS) is aimed at businesses facing lower demand during winter 2020/21 due to COVID-19, and provides them with a grant to help keep employees attached to the workforce. The Job Support Scheme will take over from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 31st October 2020. The JSS will run from 1st November 2020 to April 30th 2021.
How does the scheme work?
Employees are required to work at least 20% of their usual working hours, for which they will be paid as normal by their employer. The pay deficit for hours not worked will be topped-up by the government and employer, who will contribute 62% and 5% respectively. Subject to employee salary, they will be paid approximately one third less than if they were working normal hours.
The JSS works with the Job Retention Bonus, which offers businesses £1,000 for retaining a furloughed worker until at least the end of January 2021.
Who is eligible?
Rather like the CJRS, the JSS is not restricted to any sectors or settings. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) will be eligible automatically and not have to prove their trading conditions have been impacted or pass any financial impact test. Larger businesses will have to demonstrate that their turnover is lower as a result of the pandemic, and pass a financial impact test, the details of which are yet to be released.
For an employee to qualify for the JSS, they must have been on their employers PAYE payroll on or before 23 September. Neither the employer or employee needs to have previously used the CJRS in order to apply for the JSS.
What are the terms?
Each short-term working arrangement must cover a minimum period of 7 days but can work different patterns and cycle on and off the scheme as required.
How can I claim?
The scheme will be open from 1st November 2020 and employers can make a claim in arrears from 8th December 2020. Further guidance on the steps that employers need to take to calculate and make a claim to the Job Support Scheme will be published by the end of October.
Do staff need to be notified?
Yes. As with the previous furlough scheme, any new working arrangements will need to be agreed with staff in advance, including changes to employment contracts and prior notification to the employee in writing.
Where can I find more information about the scheme?
Please note: The terms of the Job Support Scheme were updated on 23rd October 2020 following an announcement by the Chancellor on 22nd October 2020.