The key points announced in relation to the Job Support Scheme (Scheme) on 24 September 2020 include:
- The Scheme will open on 01 November 2020 and will close during April 2021.
- To be eligible, an employee must work at least one third of the normal hours and must be paid their normal wage for these hours.
- With regards to any contracted hours not being worked, the Government will pay a third of those hours and the employer will be required to pay the remaining third. The Government contribution will be capped at £697.92 per month.
- The Job Support Scheme Factsheet (Factsheet) states that, “Large businesses will have to meet a financial assessment test, so the scheme is only available to those whose turnover is lower now than before experiencing difficulties from COVID-19. There will be no financial assessment test for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)”.
- With regards to employees, the Factsheet states that, “Employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment to that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 23 September 2020.” As such, there does not appear to be any requirement that the employee must have been furloughed previously.
- The Factsheet describes the arrangement as, “short-time working,” and states that this can vary, but each pattern of short-time working must last for at least seven days. Employees can be taken on and off the Scheme provided that each arrangement covers a minimum of seven days.
- It does not appear that claims can be made during a notice period at this stage.
- The Government’s grant will not cover Class 1 employer NIC or pension contributions, which will therefore remain payable by the employer.
The Government has also released a Job Support Scheme Factsheet, which provides some useful examples, and can be viewed here.
As with the initial Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it may be that there is further guidance issued shortly and there may be changes to the Scheme. Please contact us for advice should you need ongoing guidance in respect of the Scheme.