Below are some frequently asked questions about the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme.
What is the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme?
The new Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (JSS) is designed to protect vulnerable jobs in businesses who face a downturn in work over the winter period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The scheme starts on 1st November 2020 and will replace the current furlough / CJRS, which finishes on 31st October 2020. It is proposed that the new scheme will run initially for 6 months, i.e. until 1st April 2021.
How does it work?
Employees will get all their wages for the hours they do work and two-thirds of their wages for the hours they have not worked. For every hour not worked, the employer and the Government will each pay one third of the employee’s usual pay, with the Government contribution being capped at £697.92 per month.
The Government's grant will not cover Class 1 employer NIC or pension contributions; they remain payable by the employer.
For the first three months of the scheme employees will need to work a minimum of 33% of their usual hours. After three months, the Government will consider whether to increase this threshold.
Employees using the scheme will receive at least 77% of their pay, where the Government contribution has not been capped. The employer will be reimbursed in arrears for the Government contribution.
Employees can be moved on and off the scheme, and their working hours varied, but each short time working arrangement must last at least a week.
Who is eligible for the Job Support Scheme?
JSS is targeted at small and medium-sized firms. Larger companies of 250+ employees will only be eligible if they can prove that their turnover has fallen due to Covid. All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE Schemes can claim.
Neither the employee nor employer needs to have previously used the furlough / Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to qualify for the new job support scheme.
There will be no final assessment test for small or medium businesses (i.e. those with fewer than 250 employees).
Written notification of the arrangements is required, and this must be made available to HMRC on request.
To be eligible, employees must have been on the employer's payroll on or before 23 September 2020. The employee must not be working their redundancy notice period and must agree the new short-time arrangements.
We are here to help
If you would like any advice on this or any other employment issue, please contact a member of the Employment Law Team.
This information is given to the best of our knowledge and does not constitute individual legal advice upon which you can rely. The situation relating to Covid-19 and the Government’s proposals are constantly evolving and may have changed since this document was produced. For up to date advice on your own situation and whether there are any other considerations relevant to your business, please contact us before taking any action.