On 9 October the chancellor announced an expansion to the Job Support Scheme. This is to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions.  Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work.

How will the Job Support Scheme extension work?

  • The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.
  • Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions.
  • Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
  • The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.
  • Employers can top up if they wish.

Who is eligible?

  • All employers should have a UK bank account and a UK PAYE scheme register on or before 23 September. This means that RTI submission notifying payment to that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before this date.
  • Scheme covers businesses legally required to close their businesses.
  • The grant will be calculated on the number of eligible employees who have been instructed to and cease work at the relevant premises. Employers can only use the scheme for employees who can’t work (paid or unpaid).
  • Those businesses required to close as a result of specific workplace outbreaks by local public health authorities are not eligible for the scheme.
  • The employer or employee does not have to have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to be eligible.

Points to note

  • When premises re-open the guidance states that employers can claim under the JSS if facing reduced demand under the criteria set out on 24 September.
  • Employers can also claim the Job Retention Bonus for employees provided they are eligible and previously part of the CJRS.
  • Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period where the employer is claiming the grant for them.
  • The grant must be used to cover employees’ wages and payroll taxes. The whole grant must be used to cover employee costs.
  • Payments will be made in arrears.

How to claim

Employers will be able to make a claim on a monthly basis online through gov.uk from December 2020 and this will be reviewed in January 2020.

For more information download the government fact sheet.

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