Employment header

    In the people business, we’re all about looking after you

    Our clients trust us to protect their businesses with best practice HR and Employment advice.

    STOP PRESS: Improvements to JSS announced by Chancellor

    STOP PRESS: Improvements to JSS announced by Chancellor

    Following an outcry from many businesses, particularly those based in “tier two” areas that will face significantly reduced demand but will not be legally required to close, the Chancellor has expanded the support available under the original Job Support Scheme (JSS).

    The Government is now calling this scheme the “JSS Open” and the scheme for closed businesses, “JSS Closed”. They will start from 1 November and are currently intended to last for six months.

    Under the original scheme that was announced in late September, employees were required to work at least one third of their normal working hours. The employer and the Government would then share the costs of most of the remaining unworked hours, with the employer paying for one third of those hours, and the Government paying for the second third. The employee would then forgo the final third of the unworked hours. The Government’s contribution was capped at £697.92 per month. This meant that employees could earn up to 77% of their usual pay.

    Under the new JSS Open:

    • For businesses which can remain open, employees will be required to work at least 20% of their normal hours to be eligible (instead of the 33% originally proposed).
    • Employers will be required to pay for the hours worked as usual, plus a further 5% of wages for hours not worked up to a cap of £125 per employee per month.
    • The Government will contribute up to a further 61.67% of wages for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per employee per month.

    The Government contribution will not cover employer national insurance or pension contributions - employers will remain liable for these on the whole amount payable to employees. It is expected that the other terms of the scheme will remain the same, namely, that 'large' employers (250+ employees on their payroll on 23 September 2020) will still be required to satisfy a financial assessment to show that they have been impacted by the pandemic. Employers will be required to claim the grants in arrears.

    JSS Closed is for those businesses who are required to close and whose employees cannot work at all for the employer. In this case the JSS Closed will provide eligible businesses support by paying two thirds of each of the employee’s normal pay, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month. The employer will have to pay the NI and pension contributions on that amount. Again, there must be a written agreement between employer and employee, agreeing to the changes.

    For further guidance the Government has published a factsheet and a policy paper, on both JSS Open and JSS Closed.

    If you have any questions or queries regarding this matter then please do not hesitate to contact one of the Employment Law Team.

    For legal advice on HR and Employment Law

    Get in touch