The Chancellor has today announced a new Job Support Scheme.

The Scheme is based on three principles:

  1. Supporting viable jobs. To claim for a workers wages, the worker must work at least a third (33%) of their normal hours and be paid as normal for those hours by their employer. Of the 67% of hours left, the government will pay 22% of the employees’ wages and employers will pay 22% so the employee receives no less than 77% of their wages.
  2. Targeted Support. Support will be targeted at firms who need it the most. All small and medium businesses will be eligible. Large businesses will only be eligible where they can show turnover has fallen.
  3. Open to all. The Scheme is open to all employers across the UK, even if they have not used the furlough scheme.

The Scheme will run for six months starting in November. Those who used the furlough scheme during the coronavirus pandemic to retain jobs and subsequently using shorter hours will be able to claim the job retention bonus and also support from the Jobs Support Scheme.

We will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday 29th September, 12.30-1.30pm when we will hopefully have more detail on how the new Scheme will operate. RSVP here.

Separately ACAS, CBI and TUC have issued a joint statement today urging employers to work with unions and employees to consider alternatives to redundancy where possible and to follow five principles if redundancy is necessary:

  • Do it openly: there are rules for collective redundancies (those involving 20 or more staff), but whatever the scale, the sooner people understand the situation, the better for everyone
  • Do it thoroughly: to understand what’s happening people need information and guidance. Have you trained your staff representatives in how it all works.
  • Do it genuinely: consultation means hearing people’s views before you make a decision; so be open to alternatives from individuals and/or unions, and always feed back.
  • Do it fairly: all aspects of your redundancy procedure should be conducted fairly and without any form of discrimination.
  • Do it with dignity: losing your job has a human as a well as a business cost. The way you let people go says a lot about your organisation’s values. Think about how you will handle the conversation – whether its face-to-face or remote. And remember, you may want to rehire the same person in the future.

We can assist you with meeting all of these principles including the provision of training to your staff representatives. We will be re running our employment training programme W/C 23 November for organisations looking to restructure their businesses. Click here to view the full programme.