Yesterday (October 22nd), the Chancellor announced updates to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) due to come into effect from 1 November 2020.

The JSS, which originally required workers to work at least 33% of their normal hours (announced in September), has been named JSS Open. The JSS which will allow businesses to claim grants when they are forced to close due to increased restrictions (announced earlier this month), has now been named JSS Closed.

Important changes have been made to the requirements of the JSS Open. Now workers will only need to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours (instead of the originally announced 33%) with employers continuing to pay them as normal for those hours worked.

The employee will receive 66.7% of their normal pay for the hours not worked, which will be made up of contributions from the employer (5%) and the government (61.67%), subject to caps. The original employer contribution for the unworked hours was 33%.

While no changes were made to the JSS Closed requirements, important clarifications were announced. In addition to the scheme being open to premises which are restricted to delivery or collection only services, it is also available to those businesses restricted to the provision of food and/or drink outdoors.

The Government will publish further guidance on the two schemes at the end of October. Meantime, important points to note for both schemes are:

  • Claims are made in arrears, meaning that employers will be able to first claim under the JSS from 8 December 2020. Payments will be made after the claim has been approved.
  • Neither the employer nor employee will need to have benefited from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme) to be eligible.
  • Claims cannot be made for an employee who has been made redundant or is serving notice.
  • The JSS will not fund NICs or pension contributions.
  • Claims under the JSS does not affect an employer’s ability to claim the Job Retention Bonus.

You can find further details in the Government’s factsheet and policy document, as well as our earlier summaries from previous Government announcements here and here.

We hosted a webinar on Tuesday 27 October, discussing the updates to the Scheme. Click here to watch the recording.

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