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Job Support Scheme - The Finer Details Explained

on Friday, 30 October 2020.

With changes to the Job Support Scheme ('JSS') being announced, and the implementation date (1 November), fast approaching, we have set out some Q&As based on the guidance published to date.

Please note that further guidance and legislation is expected to be issued imminently. For further information on the JSS, please refer to our previous articles.

If Our Business Remains Open, How Many Hours Must an Employee Work to Qualify?

Under 'JSS Open' employees must work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours. This has been changed from 1/3 of their usual hours which was the requirement when the scheme was first announced. This can mean an employee working just one day of their usual five-day working week.

What Does 'Usual Hours' Mean?

For employees with fixed hours, this is the greater of either:

  • the hours they were contracted to work at the end the last full pay period ending on or before 23 September 2020
  • the hours the employee was contracted to work at the end of the last full pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020

For employees with variable hours, it will be the higher of:

  • the hours worked in the same calendar period in the previous tax year (2019-2020)
  • the average number of hours worked in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • the average number of hours worked from 1 February 2020 (or that employee's start date if later) until 23 September 2020

How Much Will an Employer Be Contributing?

Under JSS Open, the employer will be paying for all the hours that an employee works. For the remaining hours that are 'unworked,' the employer will pay 5% of their reference salary, and the government will contribute 61.67% of their reference salary, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month.

Under 'JSS Closed' an employee will receive two thirds of their normal pay fully funded by the Government, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month, and employers have discretion to pay more than this is they wish.

Coronavirus guidance employers

We Have Had to Close Due to a Workplace Outbreak, Can We Claim Under JSS Closed?

No. Businesses can only claim under the JSS Closed scheme if they are closed as a direct result of a legal requirement to close under the Government's four-tiered system.

We Are a Body in Receipt of Public Funds, Can We Use JSS?

No. If your staff costs are fully publicly funded (even if you are not in the public sector), you should use that money to continue paying staff and not use the JSS. If you are not fully funded by public grants, you can use the scheme for the proportion of your revenue disrupted due to coronavirus.

Do We Have to Do a Financial Impact Assessment?

Under JSS Open, if an employer has 250 or more employees as of 23 September 2020, they must undertake a Financial Impact Test which needs to demonstrate their turnover has remained equal or fallen as a result of coronavirus. The test only needs to be taken once before you first claim for the JSS. Examples of how to carry out the assessment can be found on the Government website.

It does not appear that a financial impact assessment has to be carried out for JSS Closed.

We Are a Charity with over 250 Staff, Do We Have to Do a Financial Impact Assessment?

No. Any charity with 250 or more employees who are registered with a UK charity regulator are exempt from carrying out the Financial Impact Assessment.

Do We Need to Put Anything in Writing with Our Employees?

Yes, employers must have "reached written agreement" with employees for both JSS Open and JSS Closed. If you would like help drafting a written agreement, please contact us using the form below.


For further information on any of the above, please contact Gareth Edwards in our Employment team on 07899 915692, or you can complete the form below.

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