Please note that the Job Support Scheme, which was due to commence on 1 November 2020, was postponed as a result of the government’s decision to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until December.
On 24th September 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new Job Support Scheme as part of further plans to protect UK businesses and workers beyond the 31st October 2020 when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ends.
From 1st November 2020, the new Job Support Scheme will safeguard viable jobs where businesses see a decrease in demand over the winter period due to Covid-19. The Scheme will enable businesses to keep employees as part of the workforce where fewer working hours are required.
In summary, the Scheme will mean that:
This guarantees that an eligible employee will be in receipt of a minimum of 77% of their normal salary (up to a cap).
The Scheme will run for six months from 1st November 2020 until 30th April 2021 and is designed to work alongside the existing Jobs Retention Bonus (under which employers can still claim £1,000 for every employee who is brought back from furlough through to 31 January 2021).
Funds are available for hours not worked by employees. The amount contributed by the government will be calculated based on an employee’s ‘usual wages’, capped at a third of wages for those hours or £697.92 per month whichever is the lower.
The calculation for ‘usual wages’ will be similar to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. For employees who have been furloughed, their original or underlying pay will be referenced and not furlough pay.
The government’s contributions will be made in arrears, reimbursing the employer each month.
Employers will be responsible for:
Employers will be able to make a claim through the government website from December 2020.
As funding is received in arrears, a claim can only be submitted in respect of a given pay period, after payment to the employee has been made and that payment has been reported to HMRC by way of an RTI return.
The government has issued a helpful factsheet including examples of how the Scheme will work: Further guidance on how the Scheme will work will also be issued before November.
Employers will need to plan ahead of November and ensure that they have in place appropriate arrangements and documentation for those employees participating under the new Scheme.
Importantly, it is a requirement of the Scheme that the new arrangements are notified in writing to the employee, and that the document is available to HMRC on request.
Employers are advised to monitor and keep up to date with details of the Scheme as further details are expected. A separate support scheme will be put in place for the self-employed. You can reach our Employment Team for further guidance on 0161 941 4000 or via email.