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A helpful insight into the new regulations from our sponsors at Pennine HR

COVID-19: Job Support Scheme Update – 23rd October 2020

As more regions move into Tier Two and Tier Three restrictions, the Government has moved swiftly to support businesses and their employees directly affected by the imposition of tighter restrictions by adding to the Job Support Scheme.

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) doesn’t actually start until 1st November (when the furlough scheme ends) and it is now effectively two schemes in one. The original scheme will be known as JSS Open and the new one is JSS Closed which is restricted to those businesses which have been required to close under lockdown regulations.

JSS Open • An employee will need to work at least 20% (down from 33%) of their normal hours. They will receive normal pay for the hours they work, and two-thirds of pay for the hours they do not work (capped for those earning more than £3,125 per month). • For that two-thirds top-up, the Government will pay 61.67% and the employer will pay 5%, plus NI and pension contributions on the full amount. This is a significant change from the previous 50:50 split towards the two-thirds top-up. • There must be a written agreement between employer and employee, agreeing to the changes.

JSS Closed • The position remains that the employee will receive two-thirds of their normal wages, funded by the government (capped for those who earn more than £3,125pm). • The employer will have to pay the NI and pension contributions on that amount. • There must be a written agreement between employer and employee, agreeing to the changes.

Both schemes will run for 6 months from 1st November 2020 to 30th April 2021, grants can be claimed from 8th December and will be paid monthly. Employers can only start a JSS claim from the day the employee starts working reduced hours or when the reduced working hours are confirmed in writing – whichever is the later. This means claims can’t be backdated so it’s important to get agreement and letters in place before 1st November for employees who will be claimed from the outset (e.g. moving straight from furlough to JSS.

We can provide the relevant documents / agreements for clients who wish to use either scheme.

Steve Bradley

Pennine HR