The Job Support Scheme (JSS) has been updated recently, and although full guidance hasn’t yet been published, this is what we know so far:
This is the scheme for businesses that are legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by the government.
Employees will receive two thirds of their normal pay paid by their employer and fully funded by the government to a max of £2,083.33 per month.
Employees will be eligible if their primary workplace is legally required to close and the employer has been instructed to cease work for at least seven consecutive days.
This scheme is available to businesses that are operating but facing decreased demand.
The employee needs to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours and the employer will pay them as normal for the hours worked.
As well as this, the employee will receive 66.67% of their normal pay for the hours not worked – made up by the employer paying 5% and the Government paying 61.67% of the employee’s reference salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75.
This scheme will run from 1st November 2020 until the 30th April 2021 with the Government set to review in January. Employers will be able to claim in arrears from 8th December onwards.
Employees who are eligible must have been on their PAYE payroll between the 6th April 2019 and the 23rd September 2020. Employees can be on any type of contract, including zero hours or temporary.
NIC and pension contributions still remain payable by the employer on the full amount that is paid to the employee in the JSS Open scheme. Clarity on whether this is the case for JSS Closed is due before month end.
We believe that employers will be able to top-up employee wages beyond the level of minimum contributions at their own expense if they wish.
Employers must have reached written agreement with their employee to confirm the offer of a temporary working agreement. HMRC may request to see these. A temporary working agreement must cover at least seven consecutive days. The agreement must be consistent with all laws and kept on record for five years. Employers should keep records of how many hours employees work and the number of usual hours they are not working. Full details of the scheme, including information on reference salaries, eligibility and for all updates due by the end of October, can be found here on the link at the bottom of this page.
"This is a generous package of support, which will make a huge difference in safeguarding hospitality jobs. It is great that the Chancellor has listened to our concerns and those of hospitality businesses. We have been hammered harder than any other sector and this enhanced support will be crucial in making sure businesses stay afloat and jobs kept secure.”Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality