Specialist employment lawyer at Holmes & Hills solicitors, David Dixey, highlights the key aspects of the Job Support Scheme (JSS).
Employers who have to date relied upon the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme/Furlough Scheme (CJRS) and indeed any employer likely to require Government support during the coming winter months, needs to be aware of the new Job Support Scheme which will open immediately after withdrawal of the CJRS. The Job Support Scheme (JSS) opens on 1st November 2020 and is currently planned to run for 6 months until 30th April 2021.
Key aspects of the Job Support Scheme
At the time of this article detailed guidance and a Treasury Direction are awaited. However, the following are key features of the Scheme:
- Employees must work (and be paid by their employer for) a minimum of one third of their usual hours for the first 3 months of the Scheme. After 3 months, the Government will consider whether to consider this minimum short-term working threshold.
- The Government and the employer will each pay a third of the hours not worked. The employee will not be paid for the remaining one third of unworked hours.
- The level of the Government grant will be capped at £697.92 a month.
- The grant will not cover class one employer National Insurance contributions or pension contributions which will remain payable by the employer.
- To be eligible employees must have been on their employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 23rd September 2020. There is no requirement that they were previously furloughed under the CJRS.
- Employees will be able to “cycle on and off the scheme” and will not have to work the same pattern each month, but each short-term working arrangement must cover at least 7 days.
- Employees cannot be made redundant or given notice of redundancy during the period for which their employer is claiming the grant for them.
- Small and medium sized businesses regardless of sector can participate in the JSS. Larger businesses will only be eligible if their turnover has fallen during the pandemic.
- The JSS is open to employers throughout the UK with a UK bank account and a UK PAYE scheme regardless of whether they used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
- Employers who retain previously furloughed staff on shorter hours will be able to claim under both the Job Support Scheme and the Jobs Retention Bonus.
- The Government grant can only be used as reimbursement for wage costs actually incurred, so employers cannot defer payment to employees until they have received payment from the Government.
How does an employer make a claim?
As stated, full guidance is still awaited. However, it is understood that employers will be able to make a claim online through gov.uk from December 2020.
What can the employer claim back?
The employer is required to pay employees at least one third of their usual pay in relation to hours worked and a further third of the usual pay for the remaining unworked hours. In addition, the employer will initially pay the Government contribution which can subsequently be claimed back from the Government.
If an employee’s monthly salary is £2,000 and they work 50% of their normal working hours, they would receive £1,000 from their employer for hours worked, plus £333 from their employer and £333 from the Government in respect of their unworked hours. The employer would be able to claim back £333 from HMRC.
There will be an expanded JSS for businesses that are required by law to close due to Coronavirus restrictions.
Expert Employment Law Advice
Call 01206 593933 to speak with Employment Law specialist, David Dixey.Or send an email