Job Support Scheme (JSS) Update

Date Added 23.10.20

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced yesterday that the Job Support Scheme (JSS) has been updated and adapted to reflect the “the pressure businesses in some sectors and areas are facing”. The Government has said that the JSS may be subject to adaptation and the new updates are designed to help open businesses who are struggling.

In our previous article, we set out the JSS and answered the questions we were commonly being asked about it. That article can be found here: https://www.tollers.co.uk/new-job-support-scheme-jss-what-you-need-to-know/. Now, the Government have announced a change to the minimum amount of hours worked by an employee and the employer and Government’s contributions under the JSS, so some aspects of our article are now out of date.

What are the changes?

As of 1st November 2020:

  1. employees need to work a minimum of 20% of their normal working hours, rather than 33% to be eligible for the JSS;
  2. for the remaining 80% of hours that are not worked (Unworked Hours), the employer will pay 5% (rather than 33%) of the Unworked Hours. This reduction means that the Government will pay 61.67% of the Unworked Hours, subject to an increased cap of £1541.75 per month.
  3. In cases where an employee works the minimum 20%, the effect of this is that the Government will pay just under half of the salary and overall the employee will receive 73% of their normal salary, if the cap doesn’t apply.

The above are the only changes announced for now and so the rest of the JSS remains unaltered. The Job Retention Bonus will still operate alongside the JSS.

For businesses who are forced to close due to the Tier System, the local Furlough Scheme will still apply. You can find out more about that here: https://www.tollers.co.uk/local-furlough-scheme-announced/.

What does this mean to you?

The employer contribution is a significant reduction from the previous position, meaning that employers need only pay an extra 5% of wages on top of the hours actually being worked by the employee. No doubt this will make the scheme more attractive to struggling businesses. However, as mentioned above, the rest of the JSS, which is not amended, remains unchanged, so it’s still worth looking at our FAQ’s for more information. Employers wishing to take advantage of the JSS, will need to bear in mind that:

  • The employee must be in a viable job, that is not at risk of redundancy and no redundancy notice can be served whilst the employee is on the JSS;
  • The employee is paid as normal for the hours that they work by the employer, and assuming that they work at least 20% of their normal hours, 5% of the Unworked Hours is then also met by the employer;
  • The employee must have been on the employer’s Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC on or before 23 September 2020; and
  • The employee must agree in writing to be placed on the JSS, as it amounts to a change of contract.

At Tollers we can assist you with a JSS Agreement for an affordable cost. To find out more and to discuss the best way forward for you and your employees…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558, our employment team are on hand to guide you through and assist you to make informed decisions.

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