What is the Job Support Scheme?
Definition of Job Support Scheme
The Job Support Scheme is a temporary initiative designed to provide employers with financial support to pay part of their employees’ wages between November 2020 and April 2021. The initiative operates differently for businesses that remain open (JSS Open) and businesses that are forced to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions (JSS Closed).
The government introduced the initiative as part of its 2020 Winter Economy Plan in order to "protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19”.
The Job Support Scheme will run for six months from 1st November 2020. It replaces the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which ends on 31st October 2020.
The Job Support Scheme will be available to all small and medium-sized businesses. This includes businesses that did not furlough any employees through the CJRS. Businesses that qualify for the Job Retention Bonus will also be eligible to use the scheme.
The Job Support Scheme for businesses that remain open (JSS Open)
For businesses that remain open, the government will pay a contribution towards the wages of employees who have their working hours reduced as a result of decreased demand. This will only apply to employees who are still working at least 20% of their normal hours, with contributions capped at £1,541.75 per month.
Employers will continue to pay employees for the hours that they work. For every hour that an employee doesn’t work, the employer will pay 5% and the government will pay 62% of their hourly rate.
The Job Support Scheme for businesses that are required to close (JSS Closed)
In October 2020 the government announced that the Job Support Scheme would be expanded to provide support to businesses that are legally required to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
From 1st November 2020 the government will pay two-thirds of the salaries of employees of businesses that are forced to close, capped at £2,100 per employee per month.
Employers will not be required to make further contributions to employees’ wages but can ‘top up’ their pay if they wish to do so. Employers will continue to be required to pay employer National Insurance contributions and auto-enrolment pension contributions in full, where applicable.