The Job Support Scheme Extension

Ahead of the further coronavirus restrictions which are anticipated to be imposed over the coming winter months, the Chancellor has announced an extension to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) which is set to start on 1 November 2020. The JSS will be replacing the existing furlough scheme, further details of which can be found here.

The extension which was announced on 9 October will allow all UK businesses whose premises are required to be closed as part of coronavirus restrictions (or restricted to delivery and collection services only), to be provided with additional financial support from the government. If a business can open, then viable jobs will be supported via the normal JSS.

What will the support entail?

Where businesses are forced to close or restrict services as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions:

  • two thirds of their employee’s salaries will be paid by the government (up to a maximum of £2,100 per month);
  • they will receive cash grants up to £3,000 per month rather than up to £1,500 every three weeks; and
  • employers will not be asked to contribute towards employee’s wages (save for NICS and pension contributions).

All payments made by the government under the JSS will be paid in arrears and businesses will be able to make monthly claims via an online HMRC claims service from December 2020.

Which employers will be eligible under the extension?

In order to be eligible under the JSS employers must:

  • have a UK bank account and operate a UK PAYE scheme;
  • have been forced to close their premises (or restricted to delivery and collection services only) for a minimum of 7 consecutive days as a result of coronavirus restrictions; and
  • have employees who cannot work for them, for at least 7 consecutive days, as a result of the closure.

Businesses will only be eligible to claim support for the period of time they are subject to restrictions. Employees cannot do any work for their employer while on the extension scheme,

Any firms who are required to legally close before 1 November 2020 will be able to rely on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

How do the cash grants work?

The government has now committed to increasing the amount of cash grants available to businesses in England who are impacted by coronavirus restrictions. These grants will now be payable to businesses every two weeks.

Businesses located in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will not be eligible to receive these cash grants.

The amount of the cash grant will be linked to the rateable value of the business as follows:

  • small businesses with a rateable value of or below £15,000 are eligible to claim £1,300 per month;
  • medium sized businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 can claim £2,000 per month; and
  • larger businesses can claim £3,000 per month.

If you have any questions or require any advice in relation to this article, please contact a member of our Employment team.

Author: Neha Solanki