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What you need to know about the Job Support Scheme for November 2020

As you may already be aware, as of the 1st of November, the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be open.

Already there have been a number of changes and updates to the JSS so we have tried to outline all of the key information that you need to know and explain how you might be able to gain financial support from the government in the upcoming months.


We know how important it is to you and your business to protect your employees and their jobs and if you need any further support in this matter please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 07534 359255.


What is the Job Support Scheme?


The Job Support Scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce.


The scheme will run for 6 months until April 2021 and all employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant.


UPDATE: This has since been expanded to include firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions related to Covid-19. We will go into further detail about the JSS expansion at the end of the blog.


As Covid-19 continues to effect the economy and businesses across the UK the government hopes to focus on those that are being impacted by Coronavirus and who can support their employees doing some work, but that need more time for demand to recover.


The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third (the Government contribution will be capped at £697.92 a month). This will ensure employees earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages, where the Government contribution has not been capped.

Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.


PLEASE NOTE: 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.

In order to support viable jobs, for the first three months of the scheme the employee must work at least 33% of their usual hours. After 3 months, the Government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold.

Employees will be able to cycle on and off the scheme and do not have to be working the same pattern each month, but each short-time working arrangement must cover a minimum period of seven days.


To help explain how the JSS grant will work we have gathered an example from the government website and included it for you here:


Example:

Beth normally works 5 days a week and earns £350 a week.

Her company is suffering reduced sales due to coronavirus so rather than making Beth redundant, the company puts Beth on the Job Support Scheme, working 2 days a week (40% of her usual hours).


· Her employer pays Beth £140 for the days she works.

· And for the time she is not working (3 days or 60%, worth £210), she will also earn 2/3, or £140, bringing her total earnings to £280, 80% of her normal wage.

· The Government will give a grant worth £70 (1/3 of hours not worked, equivalent to 20% of her normal wages) to Beth’s employer to support them in keeping Beth’s job.


What does the Job Support Scheme Expansion for closed businesses mean?

Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work - protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted.

The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.


Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions, a very small proportion of overall employment costs. It is estimated that around half of potential claims are likely not to incur employer NICs or auto-enrolment pension contributions and so face no employer contribution.


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.


In addition to the expansion of the JSS, the government is making the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme more generous so that businesses in England can receive up to £3,000 per month, and are eligible for payment sooner, after only two weeks of closure rather than three. This could benefit hundreds of thousands of businesses, including restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, bowling alleys and many more.


In line with the rest of the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via a HMRC claims service that will be available from early December. Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before 1 November are eligible for the CJRS.


Where can I find out more?


To find out more about the Job Support Scheme you can visit the Government’s website and JSS factsheet here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/job-support-scheme.


To find out more about the expanded Job Support Scheme there is a factsheet that you can read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/job-support-scheme-expanded-to-firms-required-to-close-due-to-covid-restrictions.


We know this is an extremely difficult time for businesses across the UK and if you would like any help regarding your employees, making redundancies or anything HR related then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


If you feel like the wellbeing of your workforce is suffering, then please look at our previous mental health blogs here:

· https://www.whitcombehr.co.uk/post/employee-mental-health

· https://www.whitcombehr.co.uk/post/mental-health-edit-how-to-look-after-your-mental-health-whilst-working-from-home


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