Mon 12 Oct 2020

Job Support Scheme Expanded

As a number of areas across the country, including the central belt in Scotland, see lockdown restrictions being tightened the Chancellor has announced an expansion of the Job Support Scheme.

UPDATE: An announcement on 5 November confirmed that CJRS is to be extended to March 2021 with both the Job Support Scheme and Job Retention Bonus being put on hold.  Accordingly some of the detail in this article is now out of date.  

An expansion to the Job Support Scheme ("JSS"), which will replace the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme with effect from 1 November, has been announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. 

The originally announced JSS was intended to support jobs where businesses remain open but are facing lower demand over the winter due to the current global pandemic.  This would not have helped businesses that are forced to close due to tighter lockdown restrictions.  The UK Government response has been to expand the JSS to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close, or to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises, as a result of tighter restrictions.  This part of the scheme is to be known as "JSS Closed".

The expanded scheme means that, in the circumstances described above, the Government will pay two thirds of the wages of affected businesses, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month.  Employers will not be required to contribute to wages, but will need to cover employer NICs and pension contributions.  The scheme is open to employers even if they have not previously used the CJRS.  Payment of grants will be paid in arrears from early December. 

Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period within which their employer is claiming for them.

The scheme will be available for 6 months from 1 November and will be reviewed in January.

A factsheet with further information is available here.

More information on how the scheme works to support businesses that remain open (now known as "JSS Open") is available here

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