The new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November 2020, once the furlough scheme has ended.
- For 6 months, employees who work at least 33% of their usual hours can have 2/3 of the unpaid hours funded, 1/3 by the employer and 1/3 by the Government. So for an employee working 33% of their hours, the employer will pay for these hours plus an additional 22% of the total usual income, and 22% will be paid by the government, so the employee misses out on just the final 23%. The grant from the government will be capped at £697.92 per employee per month.
- The grant will not cover Class 1 employer National Insurance contributions or pension contributions, so these contributions will remain payable by the employer.
- The scheme will be available for all small and medium-sized businesses, and available for larger businesses only if their turnover has fallen during the pandemic. The employer does not need to have previously claimed under the furlough scheme. All employers will need to have a UK bank account and UK PAYE scheme.
- 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.
- Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period within which their employer is claiming the grant for that employee.
- The Job Support Scheme grants can be claimed in addition to the Job Retention Bonus if the eligibility criteria are met.
- Claims will be able to be made online from December 2020 on a monthly basis, payable in arrears.
Additional guidance on the Job Support Scheme is expected to be published in the coming weeks.
In addition, there will be an expansion to the scheme for businesses forced to close due to lockdown restrictions, as follows:
- The expansion will cover businesses that are legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions, or who are only permitted to provide delivery or collection services from their premises.
- Affected businesses will receive grants towards two thirds of the wages of employees who cannot work, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month per employee.
- Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages (although can if they wish) but will need to cover Employers National Insurance and pension contributions.
- Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
- Employees must have been employed on 23 September and an RTI payroll submission notifying payment in respect of those employees to HMRC must have been made on or before 23 September.
- As with the main Job Support Scheme, this will begin on 1 November and will run for 6 months (but subject to a review in January 2021). Claims will be able to be made online from December 2020 on a monthly basis, payable in arrears.
- Employers must agree the new scheme with the relevant staff, make any changes to their employment contract by agreement, and notify the employee in writing. This agreement must be made available to HMRC on request.