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Update: Job Support Scheme Extended

15/10/2020

At a glance

Following the Government’s recent announcement that tighter coronavirus restrictions will come in to force in parts of the country classified as being on “very high” alert, the Chancellor confirmed that the Job Support Scheme (JSS), (see our article on the JSS here), will be expanded to support businesses who will be required to close their premises in these areas. Our employment team summarise the changes below.

JSS Extension

  • The extension to the JSS will sit alongside the JSS and provide temporary support to businesses who are legally required to close their premises as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
  • Under the JSS Extension, which comes into force from 1 November 2020:
  • The Government will pay two thirds of the normal wages of each eligible employee, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month for the time that the employer’s premises are required to be closed. The employer can top up the remaining one third of employee pay if they wish.
  • Employers will be required to cover NIC and pension contributions in full.
  • Employees must have been on employer PAYE payrolls on or before 23 September 2020 and be required not to work for at least 7 consecutive days as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions.
  • There is no requirement for the employee to have previously been placed on furlough under the CJRS.
  • Employers will still be able to claim the £1,000 CJRS bonus for employees that remain employed up to 31 January 2021. Please see our article on the job retention bonus here.
  • When premises are allowed to re-open, employers that face a reduced demand can claim under the JSS, provided they meet the criteria set out on 24 September 2020.

MC Comment

It is expected that the grants available under the JSS extension will primarily be applied for by businesses in sectors such as hospitality, leisure and entertainment that will be particularly and directly affected by the tighter restrictions. Ancillary businesses, such as suppliers and wholesalers that are not forced to close will likely need to rely on the initial JSS and other government support.

We await further guidance on the scheme from HMRC and will provide updates once information is published.

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Stephen Ravenscroft
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    Alfie Bright
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