The Chancellor announced his new Job Support Scheme earlier today (24 September) which will be introduced from 1 November 2020 when the current Furlough Scheme expires.
Here are 10 key points on how it will work:-
1. It is intended to protect jobs which are viable, not those which now only exist within furlough. So the employee must work at least 1/3rd of their normal working hours in a week and their employer must pay for those hours as normal. The Government will then pay 1/3rd of the unpaid balance of wages (up to a cap of £697.92 per month) and the employer will also have to pay a third of the unpaid wages (no cap applies and this amount is on top of the wages for the hours actually being worked). So, save where the cap applies, an employee on the JSS should get at least 77% of their weekly wage.
2. The Government contribution will not cover employer NICs or pension contributions so the employer will also be covering that amount.
3. The new working arrangement must be agreed with staff and notified in writing. Each short-term working arrangement must cover a minimum period of 7 days but needn’t be the same week to week or month to month. So employers will be able to put employees on the JSS then take them off and then put them back on it again.
4. The JSS will be available to employers in all sectors.
5. Employees must have been included on a RTI payroll submission made on or before 23 September.
6. Employers do not have to have claimed on the Furlough scheme to be able to claim on the JSS.
7. Larger businesses will have to satisfy a financial assessment test to show that their turnover has reduced as a result of Covid-19. The details of this financial assessment have not yet been published. SMEs will not have to show that their turnover has reduced.
8. Employees covered by the JSS cannot be issued with notice of redundancy.
9. The JSS will be in place for 6 months but claims can only start being made from December 2020. The Government may increase the 1/3rd minimum hours threshold once the JSS has been in place for 3 months.
10. Employers can claim under the JSS and for a Job Retention Bonus if they satisfy the criteria of both schemes.
To find out more about how these changes will impact you, or if you require any assistance in relation to employment law, do not hesitate to contact a member of the team.