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Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme has been delayed as the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme has been extended.

The Job Support Scheme has been delayed. It will replace the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme once the scheme ends.

Businesses that are operating but facing decreased demand can get support for wages through JSS Open.

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.

The Scheme

JSS Open

JSS Open will give employers the option of keeping their employees in a job on shorter hours rather than making them redundant. 

The employee will need to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours and the employer will continue to pay them as normal for the hours worked. Alongside this, the employee will receive 66.67% of their normal pay for the hours not worked - this will be made up of contributions from the employer and from the government. The employer will pay 5% of reference salary for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, with the discretion to pay more than this if they wish. The government will pay the remainder of 61.67%, of reference salary for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month. This will ensure employees continue to receive at least 73% of their normal wages, where they earn £3,125 a month or less.

JSS Closed

Some employers have been legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions. For these businesses, the Job Support Scheme, through JSS Closed, will help them through the period that they are directly affected by these restrictions by supporting the wage costs of employees who have been instructed to cease work in eligible (closed) premises.

Each employee who cannot work due to these restrictions will receive two-thirds of their normal pay, paid by their employer and fully funded by the government, to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month, although their employer has the discretion to pay more than this if they wish. This will help protect employee incomes, limit unemployment and retain employer-employee matches so that these premises are able to reopen as quickly as possible when circumstances allow.

Eligibility

Employers:

  • All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
  • 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 (SMEs).
  • Our expectation is that large employers using the Job Support Scheme will not be making capital distributions, such as dividend payments or share buybacks, whilst accessing the grant. Further details will be set out in guidance.

Employees:

  • Employees must be on an 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 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.
  • In order to support viable jobs, for the first three months of the scheme the employee must work at least 33% of their usual hours. After 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 each short-time working arrangement must cover a minimum period of seven days.

Employers cannot claim both JSS Open and JSS Closed in respect of a single employee for the same day. Employees do not need to have been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to be eligible.

Read the Job Support Scheme Factsheet for more information and examples of payment calculations.

Claims

Claiming JSS Open

In addition to general eligibility, employers are eligible to claim the JSS Open if:

  • an employer with 250 or more employees on 23 September 2020 has undertaken a Financial Impact Test demonstrating their turnover has remained equal or fallen to show they have been adversely affected due to coronavirus; an employer with less than 250 employees on 23 September 2020 is not required to satisfy the test

  • some, or all, of their employees are working reduced hours - employees must still be working for at least 20% of their usual hours

Claiming JSS Closed

In addition to the general Job Support Scheme eligibility criteria, employers are eligible to claim JSS Closed if:

  • their business premises at one or more locations has been legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection only services from their premises and those restricted to the provision of food and/ or drink outdoors.

Businesses premises required to close as a result of specific workplace outbreaks are not eligible for this scheme.

Employers are only eligible to claim for periods during which the relevant coronavirus restrictions are in place. Employers will not be able to claim JSS Closed to cover periods after restrictions have lifted and the business premises is legally allowed to reopen.

Eligible employers will be able to claim the JSS Closed grant for employees:

  • whose primary workplace is at the premises that have been legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK

  • that the employer has instructed to and who cease work for a minimum period of at least 7 consecutive calendar days

Paying employee taxes and pension contributions

The Job Support Scheme grant will not cover National Insurance contributions (NICs) or pension contributions. These contributions remain payable by the employer.

Employers must deduct and pay to HMRC income tax and employee NICs on the full amount that is paid to the employee, including any amounts subsequently met by a scheme grant.

Employers must also pay to HMRC any employer NICs due on the full amount that that is paid to the employee, including any amounts subsequently met by a scheme grant.

Further guidance is expected.

This page was last updated 4 November 2020.