Job Support Scheme up and running

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) opened on 1 November and will run for six months, until 30 April 2021. The government has said it will review the terms of the scheme in January 2021.

There are two variations to the JSS – JSS Open and JSS Closed. JSS Open will provide support to businesses that are open and where employees are working shorter hours due to reduced demand. Employees will need to work at least 20% of their usual hours. The employer will continue to pay employees for the hours they work, and the UK government will pay a contribution of 61.67% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month.

Employers will pay 5% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, and can top this up further if you choose. This means staff should receive at least two-thirds of their usual pay for hours not worked.

The caps are reduced according to the proportion of hours not worked.

The employer will need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

JSS Closed will provide support to businesses whose premises are legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one of the four governments of the UK. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection-only services from their premises, and those restricted to providing food and/or drinks outdoors.

For JSS Closed, the UK government will fund two-thirds of employees’ usual wages for time not worked, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month. The employer will not be required to contribute, but can top up the government’s contribution if they choose to. They will still need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

Companies will be able to make their first JSS claim in arrears from 8 December, for pay periods ending and paid in November.

Employees will be able to check if their employer has made a Job Support Scheme claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account. Employees can set up a Personal Tax Account by searching ‘Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up’ on the gov.uk website.

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