On 24th September the government announced the launching in November of the Job Support Scheme to replace the existing Furlough Scheme that is feted to end on 31st October. The JSS is to run from 1st November through to 30th April, but initial rules may be amended after three months.
To qualify for the JSS you do not need to have been part of the Furlough Scheme, but you will have to have a UK bank account. Large businesses will have to meet a financial assessment test showing that their turnover has fallen due to Covid-19. Small & medium sized businesses will not be subjected to a financial assessment test. The previously announced £1,000 per employee bonus paid to those companies who are still employing ex-furloughed staff at the end of January 2021, will remain in place.
Employees must be on the payroll and HMRC must have received a real time submission of their details prior to September 23rd 2020, in order to benefit from the scheme. Employees must work at least 33% of their normal working hours and be paid by their employer accordingly. Payment for hours not worked will be split between the government and their employer. The government will pay 33% of hours not worked (so 22% of actual salary), up to a maximum of £697.92 per month. The employer will continue to pay full employer national insurance and pension contributions.
Unlike the Furlough Scheme, claims can only be made in arrears (claims for November cannot be made until December) once HMRC have processed RTI returns and employees cannot be made redundant, or given notice of leave, during the claim period. In a further change to the exiting scheme, it is the aim of HMRC to directly contact every individual placed on the JSS.
All employees registered on the JSS need to be notified in advance, in writing and changes to their employment contracts must be made.
Further details and guidance of how to access the scheme and payments will be calculated will be made shortly.