Breaking News – New Job Support Scheme

Date Added 24.09.20

Since the Prime Minister announced further measures on 22nd September and with the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) “Furlough”, coming to a close at the end of October, we have been waiting to hear the Chancellor’s plans for a new type of job support scheme. Mr Sunak announced on 24th September a new job support scheme. Here is what we understand it to mean

  • On 31st October 2020 the current CJRS will end as planned;
  • From 1st November 2020 the Government will no longer fund the wages of people who are not working, but instead, who remain employed by their employer;
  • The new Job Support Scheme (JSS) will therefore support the wages of employees who are in work but are not working 100% of their usual hours;
  • Employers will pay the employee’s usual wages on a pro rata basis for the hours that they are in work. Then provided that the employee is in work for at least one third of their normal working hours, the Employer will also pay 33% of any remaining hours not worked by the employee, with the Government also paying 33% of the hours not worked (although this has a cap of £697.92). Therefore, for an employee working a third of their normal hours, these provisions will equate to the employee receiving 77% of their usual pay, 55% of which will be paid by the Employer;
  • For those employees who are on furlough, the normal working hours will be their pre-furlough hours;
  • The JSS is open to all employers;
  • The JSS applies to all employees, even if they have not been previously “furloughed” under the CJRS;
  • The JSS will run for 6 months from 1st November 2020.

What does this mean to you?

Well, as always with news that is just breaking, we can expect to find out more details over the coming weeks. No doubt we can expect to see further caps on what the Government is prepared to pay and restrictions on who would be eligible for under the JSS. As always, we’ll let you know more when we can.

The JSS is designed to sit alongside the Jobs Retention Bonus, so companies can benefit from both schemes in order to help protect jobs. What is important to note here is that this JSS applies to employees in work and who can work at least a third of their normal working hours, therefore being in viable jobs. Companies will not be able to issue redundancy notices to employees employed under the JSS. For some of you this will therefore not negate the need for redundancies. It is important that any redundancy process is carried out fairly. ACAS, the TUC and CBI have announced a joint statement, setting out 5 key principles for a redundancy process:

  1. Do it openly: there are rules for collective redundancies (those involving 20 or more staff), but whatever the scale, the sooner people understand the situation, the better for everyone.
  2. Do it thoroughly: to understand what’s happening people need information and guidance. Have you trained your staff representatives in how it all works?
  3. Do it genuinely: consultation means hearing people’s views before you make a decision; so be open to alternatives from individuals and/or unions; and always feedback.
  4. Do it fairly: all aspects of your redundancy procedure should be conducted fairly and without any form of discrimination.
  5. Do it with dignity: losing your job has a human as a well as a business cost. The way you let people go says a lot about your organisation’s values. Think about how you will handle the conversation – whether it’s face-to-face or remote. And remember, you may want to rehire the same person in the future.

How Tollers can help:

With so many changes happening during the current climate, the Employment team at Tollers have been working with businesses to provide advice and guidance in regard to the employment issues they find themselves facing.  The team have also seen a rise in the requirement for two of their key off the shelf products.  The useful Redundancy Manager toolkit, which assists businesses to navigate the redundancy process, for a fixed fee, has been in huge demand and the Tollers HR package which helps employers manage the HR side of their business, ensuring that they have access to assistance and relevant legal advice from our specialist employment team regarding the HR issues they find themselves facing  https://www.tollers.co.uk/employment-law-solicitors/tollers-hr/.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the New Jobs Support Scheme, what it means to your business or for further information on how the employment team can assist … talk to Tollers on 01604 248558. We’re here for you.

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