The UK Government's Job Support Scheme (JSS) is being further expanded to support businesses across the UK that are impacted by coronavirus restrictions.
When originally announced, the JSS - which will come into effect on 1 November - saw employers paying a third of their employees' wages for hours not worked, and required employees to be working 33% of their normal hours. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has today announced that the employer contribution to those unworked hours will reduce to 5%, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible.
In addition to expansion of the JSS, the Government is increasing the cash grants to businesses in England that are shut in local lockdowns, to help with fixed costs. The Chancellor has announced approved additional funding to support cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. These grants will be available retrospectively for areas that have already been subject to restrictions, and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for local authorities moving into Tier 3.
These measures will continue to sit alongside the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus (JRB), which encourages employers to keep staff on payroll.
The JSS scheme, which is UK wide, will begin on 1 November 2020 and will be available for six months, with a review point in January 2021.
Who Can Apply
All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Large businesses will have to meet a financial assessment test, so the scheme is only available to those whose turnover is lower now than before experiencing difficulties from COVID-19. There will be no financial assessment test for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment to that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 23 September 2020.
In order to support viable jobs, for the first three months of the scheme the employee must work at least 33% of their usual hours. After three months, the Government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold.
How To Apply
The scheme will be open from 1 November 2020 to the end of April 2021.
Employers will be able to make a claim online through Gov.uk from December 2020. They will be paid on a monthly basis.
Addresses and contacts
For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
Tel: 0845 010 9000