Expansion of the Job Support Scheme
12th October 2020
The Chancellor of The Exchequer announced on 9 October 2020 that the Job Support Scheme (see our briefing note published on 24 September 2020 https://www.wjm.co.uk/news/the-job-support-scheme) is to be expanded as a means to provide support for businesses who are required to close their premises as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
Who is eligible?
Only businesses who are required by law to shut their premises for a minimum of seven consecutive calendar days will be eligible for the scheme. This requirement may come in the form of local or national restrictions. Interestingly, it has been confirmed that this will include premises who are only able to offer delivery or collection services. It should be noted that businesses who are required to close premises by public health authorities due to a workplace outbreak of coronavirus will not be eligible.
What are the Government’s contributions?
The expansion of the Job Support Scheme will operate similarly to the Furlough Scheme in that the government will pay up to two thirds of an Employee’s normal pay, capped at £2,100 per month. The employer will be able to claim for each employee who – as a result of the restrictions – cannot carry out their work. Akin to the Furlough Scheme, the employer will be required to pay employees in the first instance and will receive reimbursement from the government in arrears.
The claims are taxable and employers will be mandated to pay employer National Insurance contributions as well as automatic pension enrolments (if applicable). Crucially, employers will not be required to ‘top-up’ employee pay however they can do so if they so decide. As a result, employees may receive 66% of their normal pay if they are unable to work due to local or national ‘cease trading’ restrictions. How normal pay is calculated is due to be clarified in the coming days.
The expanded Job Support Scheme is UK wide and will begin on 1 November 2020, running for 6 months with a review date set for January 2021. Claims can be made online through the government website from December 2020. It is expected that more in-depth guidance will be made available to the public in the coming weeks. We will, of course, keep you updated.
Please remember that we at Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP are here to help, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything you think we can help with.
For any advice in relation to any particular aspects of the above, please contact a member of the Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie Employment Team: Andrew Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Martin Stephen (email@example.com), Liam Entwistle (firstname.lastname@example.org) and John Grant (email@example.com).
The information contained in this newsletter is for general guidance only and represents our understanding of relevant law and practice as at October 2020. Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP cannot be held responsible for any action taken or not taken in reliance upon the contents. Specific advice should be taken on any individual matter. Transmissions to or from our email system and calls to or from our offices may be monitored and/or recorded for regulatory purposes. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 302 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5RZ. A limited liability partnership registered in Scotland, number SO 300336.