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Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme replaces the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It will operate from 1 November 2020 for 6 months. The scheme provides employers with a grant to make up their employees’ salary. To qualify the employee must be working at least one third of their usual hours.

The employer pays for these hours and is required to top up 1/3rd of the hours not worked (not 1/3rd of total hours). The government will then also top up a third of the hours not worked, subject to a cap of £697.92 per month.

It is expected that the employer will have to pay all the Employer NIC and Employer pension costs on the full salary payment.

The employee, depending on the hours worked, will receive at least 75% of their regular salary.

  • The claims portal for the scheme will not be open until December. Payments will be made in arrears. The employee must be paid first and have that payment reported under RTI.
  • Any employer with a UK bank account and UK PAYE scheme can claim the grant.
  • Large businesses will have to meet a financial assessment test, which is to be based on turnover. It is expected that large employers using the Job Support Scheme will not be making capital distributions, such as dividend payments or share buybacks, whilst accessing the grant.
  • Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period within which their employer is claiming the grant for that employee.
  • 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.
  • Employees will be able to cycle on and off the scheme and do not have to be working the same pattern each month, but each short-time working arrangement must cover a minimum period of seven days.
  • Employers must agree the new short-time working arrangements with their staff, make any changes to the employment contract by agreement, and notify the employee in writing.
  • It is expected that employers will not be able to make top up payments to employees in addition to the amounts due under the scheme.

Full details of the scheme terms and how to make a claim have yet to be issued. If you have any queries before our next update, please get in touch with your usual BHP contact.

Example

Beth normally works 5 days a week and earns £350 a week. Her company is suffering reduced sales due to coronavirus. Rather than making Beth redundant, the company puts Beth on the Job Support Scheme, working 2 days a week (40% of her usual hours).

  • Her employer pays Beth £140 for the days she works.
  • And for the time she is not working (3 days or 60%, worth £210), she will also earn 2/3, or £140, bringing her total earnings to £280, 80% of her normal wage.
  • The Government will give a grant worth £70 (1/3 of hours not worked, equivalent to 20% of her normal wages) to Beth’s employer to support them in keeping Beth’s job.