A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November to protect jobs where businesses are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.
You will continue to pay the wages for the hours your staff work. For the hours not worked, you and the government will each pay one third of their usual wages (capped at £697.92 per month). You will need to meet your share of the pay for unworked hours and all your National Insurance contributions and statutory pension contributions, from your own funds. This means that employees will receive at least two thirds of their usual wages for the hours not worked.
To be eligible, employees must:
- be registered on your PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020. This means a Real-Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee must have been made to HMRC on or before 23 September 2020
- work at least 33% of their usual hours. The government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold after the first three months of the scheme.
Further eligibility criteria is available on GOV.UK by searching ‘Job Support Scheme factsheet’.
The Job Support Scheme will be open to employers across the UK even if you have not previously applied under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which closes on 31 October.
The Job Support Scheme will start from 1 November and you will be able to claim in December. Grants will be paid on a monthly basis.
The scheme will operate in addition to the Job Retention Bonus. You and your employees can benefit from both schemes in order to help protect viable jobs.
For information on what is covered by the grant, which employers and employees are eligible, and how to claim, search ‘Job Support Scheme factsheet’ on GOV.UK.