The new Job Support Scheme (JSS) will start on 1 November and is aimed at supporting viable jobs by topping up pay for employees working reduced hours due to decreased demand. While no doubt more detail about the JSS will follow, Employment Partner Sean McDonough outlines the key features in his latest article.
The key features of the JSS are:
- The scheme will be open to small and medium employers, regardless of their financial position.
- Large employers will be eligible if they can evidence that their turnover has fallen due to the pandemic.
- Employers can use the JSS whether or not they previously used the furlough scheme.
- Employees must now work (as opposed to not working when furloughed) at least one third of their usual hours – paid for by their employer as usual.
- Employees will be paid for up to two thirds of unworked hours at their usual hourly rate. This cost is shared between the employer and the Government
- The employee’s usual hourly rate would be calculated using similar methods as used under the furlough scheme
- Employers would have to agree reduced hours with the employee, and notify them to the employee in writing (in a similar way to agreeing furlough arrangements)
- The Government contribution is capped at £697.92 per month per employee and will not cover employer national insurance contributions or pension contributions – these remain the responsibility of the employer.
- Employees can move on and off the scheme, but any reduced hours arrangement needs to last at least 7 days at a time
- The employee must be on the payroll at 23 September (i.e. the employer made an RTI submission to HMRC in respect of the employee on or before 23 September)
- Employers will not be able to make employees redundant during the time they are claiming for them under the JSS (but they could make other employees redundant if they are not claiming under the JSS in respect of them)
- Employers retaining previously furloughed staff on reduced hours will be able to use the JSS and claim the Job Retention Bonus as well
- The JSS will run for 6 months from 1 November, and the 33% minimum hours requirement will be reviewed after the first 3 months of the scheme
- Employers may claim under the scheme from December, and claims should be made on a monthly basis
As the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comes to and end and the New Job Support Scheme starts employers are going to face another period of change.
Over the coming weeks more detail will no doubt appear about the new scheme but if you need any advice at this time please contact Sean McDonough on 01225 750 000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org