Job Support Scheme Closed Guidance

Posted on 28th October 2020

With many businesses across the UK being forced to close due to local lockdown restrictions, the government have announced that they will expand the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) to help businesses who are unable to offer their employees any work. This scheme will be known as Job Support Scheme Closed. The purpose of the scheme is to give as much financial support as possible to businesses affected, in the hope that they may be able to reopen as soon as possible and retain their existing employees. This guidance sets out the information that we currently have and will be updated, as and when, more information becomes available.

What is the Job Support Scheme?

The Job Support Scheme Closed is a new scheme that will has been designed to help businesses retain staff if hey are forced to close during the pandemic.

How long will the scheme last?

The scheme will run from 1st November to 30th April 2021. A period of 6 months initially but this will be reviewed in January 2021.

Who is the expansion designed for?

Job Support Scheme Closed is designed to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of Coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK.

Why has the expansion been announced?

The Job Support Scheme Closed will help businesses through the period they are affected by these restrictions, supporting the wage cost of employees who have been required to cease work and enable businesses to reopen as soon as possible.

Am I eligible?

The Job Support Scheme Closed is only open for businesses that have been required to shut by one or more of the four UK governments. This includes business that have been restricted to delivery and collection services.

The scheme is not open to businesses who have had to close due to Coronavirus exposure or workplace outbreaks and been notified by the public health authority.

Employees cannot be made redundant or placed on notice of redundancy while you are claiming the grant.

Are my employees eligible?

Employers can only claim for employees who were on their PAYE payroll between 6 April 2019 and 11:59pm on 23 September 2020. This means an RTI Full Payment Submission notifying payment in respect of that employee must have been made to HMRC at some point from 6 April 2019 up to 11:59pm 23 September 2020.

Employers can only claim for employees that were in their employment on 23 September 2020. If employees ceased employment after 23 of September 2020 and were subsequently rehired, then employers can claim for them.

Employees must have been instructed to cease work for a minimum of 7 days to be eligible. This means, the employer cannot ask the employee to do any work for the business, paid or unpaid, during the time that they are claiming for.

Employees on any type of contract are eligible.

How much can I claim?

Similar to the Job Support Scheme Open, the employee will be eligible to receive two thirds of their normal salary for time not worked, capped at £2,083.33 per month.

Once the business reopens, the employer can use the Job Support Scheme Open, if necessary, to bring their employees back to work gradually, as long as they work at least 20% of their normal hours.

The employer will be required to pay National Insurance and pension contributions. The employer will not be required to pay any other contributions to the employee; however, the employer can top up salaries if they are able to.

My employee doesn’t work the same hours every month. How do I calculate their normal salary?

To calculate an employee’s average earnings, the employer can use the higher calculation of:

  • The average earnings during tax year 2019-2020
  • The same earnings in the calendar month of 2019
  • The average earnings of between 1st February (or later if the employee started later in the year) and 23rd September 2020

How can I claim?

Employers will be able to claim online from 8th December 2020 and on a monthly basis. As with the CJR Scheme, claims will be payable in arrears and employers will still be required to pay their employees and report the payment to HMRC.

Can I make employees redundant while using the scheme?

No, employers will not be able to make any employees redundant, or put them on notice of redundancy, while using the scheme. The employee must first be removed from the scheme.

Other information

HMRC will check claims. Payments may be withheld or need to be paid back if a claim is found to be fraudulent or incorrect.

Employees must agree to any changes to their terms and conditions and employers should write to their employees as soon as they have been notified that they will cease to trade. This agreement must be made available to HMRC if requested.

The government will be releasing further guidance shortly and we will keep our clients updated when more information becomes available

As always, if you need our help with this or any other HR advice then do call us on 01536 215240.

Carla Cifaldi Character
Written by:
Carla Cifaldi
HR Consultant