Rachael Lloyd
Posted on 27 Oct 2020

Further Update to Job Support Scheme

Chancellor Rishi Sunak makes further changes to his new Job Support Scheme, as the Government struggles to match the required help to an ever evolving COVID-19 landscape.

With what looks to be a challenging winter for businesses which are continuing to struggle in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the Chancellor has responded to calls to improve the package of help which is intended to take over from the Job Retention Scheme.

The changes in a nutshell….

The "principal scheme" (that is, the Job Support Scheme which is intended to subsidise the wages of those employees employed by businesses which can continue to remain open, but which are experiencing reduced trade) will be renamed the "Job Support Scheme – Open". The "extended scheme", under which the Government will pay 67% of each eligible employee's normal salary in businesses which have been forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions, will be renamed the "Job Support Scheme – Closed".

The Job Support Scheme – Closed (as explained in our article here) remains unchanged.

In respect of the Job Support Scheme – Open, the Government has lowered the percentages of both the minimum hours worked by employees, and the salary contribution to be paid by employers.

A comparison of the provision under the original announcement, and the Chancellor's newly amended plan, are as follows:

 

Original

Amended

% of normal hours to be worked by employees to be eligible for the scheme

33%

20%

% of unworked hours to be paid for by employer

33%

5%

 

Essentially, this means that employees will be theoretically eligible for the Job Support Scheme – Open if they are working just one day per week of their normal full time role. Each eligible employee will still receive, for every hour not worked, up to two thirds of their usual salary, but the Government will now fund up to 61.67% of this (up to a cap of £1,541.75 per month), with the employer only being liable for around 5% (up to a cap of £125 per month).

All other criteria for the Job Support Scheme – Open remain as set out in our article here. As a reminder, the scheme goes live on 1 November 2020, but employers will not be able to make a claim until 8 December 2020.

This article is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Please contact James Baker or Rachael Lloyd to discuss any issues you are facing.