The UK Job Support Scheme (JSS) will open on 1st November 2020 and run for six months, until 30th April 2021. The terms of the scheme will again be reviewed in January 2021. There are two variations to the Job Support Scheme (JSS):
The UK government recently announced that it will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come, supporting jobs and helping to contain the virus.
In recognition of the challenging times ahead, the Chancellor said he would be increasing support through the existing Job Support and self-employed schemes.
The Job Support Scheme will provide support to businesses that are open where employees are working shorter hours due to reduced demand. When the scheme was initially announced earlier in the month it was stated that Employees would need to work at least 33% of their usual hours.
However, Employees will now need to work at least 20% of their usual hours. Companies will need to continue to pay employees for the hours worked, and the UK government will pay a contribution of 61.67% of the usual pay for hours not worked; up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month. Companies should pay 5% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month. This means employees should receive at least two thirds of their usual pay for hours not worked.
Companies will need to cover all Employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
JSS Closed will provide support to businesses whose premises are legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one of the four governments of the UK. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection-only services from their premises, and those restricted to providing food and/or drinks outdoors.
For JSS Closed, the UK government will fund two thirds of employees’ usual wages for time not worked, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month. Employers will not be required to contribute, but can top up the government’s contribution if they choose to. Employers will still need to cover all Employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
Companies will be able to make their first JSS claim in arrears from 8 December 2020, for pay periods ending and paid in November 2020.
Employees will be able to check if their company has made a Job Support Scheme claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account. Employees can set up a Personal Tax Account on GOV.UK, by searching ‘Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up’.
Companies will be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), kept continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021 and who meets the other eligibility criteria. Companies do not have to pay this money to their employee.
Companies will be able to claim the bonus between 15 February and 31 March 2021. To do this the business must have submitted PAYE information for the period up to 5 February 2021 on time.
The current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes on 31 October 2020, and companies will need to make any final claims on or before 30 November 2020. No submissions or adjustments can be added to any claims after this date.
Since 1st October 2020, the UK government paid employers 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work. Companies should continue to pay furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Companies need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant themselves.
The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if an employee was furloughed for half their usual hours in October, Companies are entitled to claim 60% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to £937.50 (half of £1,875 cap). The business must still pay employees at least 80% of their usual wage for the hours they don’t work. So for someone only working half their usual hours the business needs to pay them up to £1,250 (half of £2,500 cap), funding the remaining portion themselves.
Companies must also continue to pay Employer National Insurance and Pension contributions from company funds. Each business must keep the records that support the amount of CJRS grant claimed in case HMRC needs to check it. All businesses can view, print or download copies of their previously submitted claims by logging onto their CJRS service on GOV.UK.
It is important to check that each claim is accurate before submitting it, double check previous claims and repay any amount over-claimed, to avoid having to pay interest and penalties if HMRC subsequently discovers that too much has been claimed.
If too much CJRS grant has been claimed and have not already been repaid, HMRC must be notified and the money repaid by the latest of whichever date applies below:
If this is not done, businesses may find themselves having to pay interest and a penalty as well as having to repay the excess CJRS grant.
HMRC can be notified as part of the company’s next online claim without the need to call them. If too much has been claimed, but no further claims are planned HMRC can be notified and the repayment made online via HMRC’s card payment service or by bank transfer.