Job Support Scheme is taking over from Furlough otherwise known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The goal of the scheme is to support workers who are living in tighter lockdown measures. It is for employees who work at businesses that have been told to lockdown completely due to COVID-19.

There are no specific restrictions on what businesses and industries can apply for JSS. Small and medium businesses can apply for relief. However larger companies (with over 250 employees) have to show that their turnover has remained the same, or decreased because of the pandemic.

There are two sides to JSS – open and closed. Businesses that have been told to shut their doors will be able to apply for relief from JSS (Closed). Businesses that have remained open and seen demand drop, need to request help from JSS (Open).

How do businesses access JSS?

To access JSS (Open), employees need to work at least 20% of their working hours. Employers will need to cover the wages for those worked hours. For the hours not worked, employers will contribute 5% whilst the government makes up 61.67% - capped at £1,541.75.

For businesses that close completely, they will be able to access JSS (Closed). The government will provide a grant for two thirds of an employee’s wages, capped at £2,083.33, with no contribution required from the employer.

Can employees avoid redundancy by going on JSS?

JSS is designed to support viable jobs which means that anyone who has been given notice of redundancy cannot be entered into it. Your redundancy rights won’t be affected and you are still subject to all the rights you would expect in a normal redundancy.

When can businesses claim?

Businesses will be able to claim for relief from 8 December 2020, and they will receive money every month. This means that businesses will have to pay their staff from their own funds until then. Businesses low on capital will need to apply for government grants and loans.

What about self-employed workers?

Self-employed workers will benefit from a grant capped at £3,750. The government will also cover 40% of average monthly profits. An additional second grant will also be available for self-employed workers to cover February 2021 to the end of April, however there are no details on how much this will cover.

What about pension and national insurance contributions?

Employers will still be expected to cover the cost of workers pensions and national insurance contributions. They will be payable on the full amount of wages received by the employee, including what is paired by the government.

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