Job Support Scheme (JSS)

Keeping all of us on our toes, the Chancellor has announced this afternoon further changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) to reflect the recent imposition of Tier 2 and 3 restrictions on much of England. The changes relate to the “short-time working” element of the scheme, rather than the extension that applies to businesses closed by law. 

Under the original scheme that was announced in late September, employees were required to work at least one third of their normal working hours. The employer and the Government would then share the costs of most of the remaining unworked hours, with the employer paying for one third of those hours, and the Government paying for the second third. The employee would then forgo the final third of the unworked hours. The Government’s contribution was capped at £697.92 per month. This meant that employees could earn up to 77% of their usual pay.

Under today’s announcement, employees will be required to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours, for which they will be paid. The employer will be required to pay for an additional 5% of hours not worked. The Government will now fund 61.67% of the wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £1,541.75 per month.

It is expected that the other terms of the scheme will remain the same, namely, that large employers will still be required to satisfy a financial assessment to show that they have been impacted by the pandemic. The scheme will begin with effect from 1 November 2020 and will run for six months with a review in January 2021. Employers will be required to claim the grants in arrears.

Further information will be provided when the detailed guidance is available. 


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