Job Support Scheme (JSS)
On 24 September 2020 the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new scheme, the Job Support Scheme (JSS) to replace the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), with effect from 1 November 2020.
A further announcement on 22 October 2020 significantly revised the rules of the JSS. In effect there are now two different JSS schemes, known as JSS (Open) (JSSO) and JSS (Closed) (JSSC).
Both schemes will run from 1 November 2020 until 30 April 2021, although the conditions of the schemes are to be reviewed in January 2021. Employees have to agree in writing to their hours being reduced in order for the employer to be able to claim a grant. Employees have to be paid through the payroll before a claim can be made. Claims cannot be made before 8 December 2020.
The JSSC can be claimed by businesses that are legally required to close due to Covid restrictions. Additionally the grant can be claimed by businesses that are restricted to delivery or collection services or to serving food outdoors, provided they are located in a restricted area (eg Level 3 Covid restriction in England).
The JSSO scheme can be claimed for businesses in respect of employees who are working at least 20% of their normal hours and the reduced hours are as a result of the impact of Covid.
The definitions of normal pay and normal hours are similar to those under the CJRS.
Under this scheme, employers can claim a grant of 2/3rds of a furloughed employees normal pay up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month.
In order to be able to claim a grant for an employee under this scheme, the employee must work at least 20% of their normal hours. Their normal salary for the purpose of the grant is capped at £3,125.
In addition to paying an employee the hours worked , the employer also has to pay 5% of the hours not worked. On top of this the employer can claim a grant for 61.67% of the hours not worked.
The employees gross salary needs to be at least the total of the payment for hours worked, the additional 5% of unworked hours paid by the employer and the amount of the grant. The employer can however choose to pay a higher amount. This is best explained by way of an example:
If an employee normally works 225 hours per month but actually only works for 45 hours and has a usual monthly salary of £3,000 then the employees minimum gross salary would be:
£600 for hour worked + £120 employers additional pay (being 5% of hours not worked) + £1,479.63 grant received = £2,199.63. This represents 73.3% of the employees normal pay.
Further guidance can be found on the Gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-job-support-scheme/the-job-support-scheme