Jobs Support Scheme
The CJRS will end as planned on 31st October and the Jobs Support Scheme will be introduced from 1st November. The JSS is its replacement, but it is far less generous, as it will only cover up to 22.2% of the employee’s salary. The JSS is designed to help employers keep some valuable employees working on a part-time basisover the winter period from November to April, rather than make them redundant.
The employer pays the employee in full for all the hours actually worked, which must be at least 33% of their usual hours, but the employee will also receive pay for two thirds of the time that they are not working. The scheme is flexible, in that employees are able to move in and out of the JSS by pay period.
The government’s contribution under the JSS is capped at £697.92 per month. When working part time under the JSS, an employee should earn a minimum of 77.8% of their normal wages, where the government’s contribution has not been capped.
Which employees qualify?
All employees on the payroll can qualify for the JSS, if they were included in a Real-Time Information (RTI) return submitted on or before 23 September 2020.
There is no requirement to have been previously furloughed.
It is not yet clear whether annually paid directors can qualify for the JSS. It may depend on exactly when the director received their annual pay.
Employees who are already on notice for redundancy, or who have been made redundant, can’t be included on a JSS claim.
Which employers qualify?
Any small or medium-sized employer with a UK bank account will be able to use the JSS without further conditions applying.
Large employers will have to show that their business turnover has reduced due to COVID-19, before they can use the JSS. We don’t know how many employees will make the employer “large”, but it is likely to be 250 or more.
Large employers will also have to refrain from paying dividends to shareholders or undertaking share buy-backs while claiming under the JSS.
When is the claim made?
The employer must pay the employee first and then make a claim for the JSS through an online portal, which will open in December 2020. The employer will be paid the JSS grant once each month, but only after the RTI return that reports the employee’s wages has been received by HMRC.
The JSS grant can only be used as reimbursement for wage costs actually paid.