In a welcome announcement yesterday, Rishi Sunak revealed new changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS). The changes will re-establish more practical support for businesses adversely affected by COVID-19.
Changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS Open)
The JSS applies to the entire United Kingdom. The changes announced to the JSS yesterday – now called the JSS Open – are:
- The minimum hours an employee is required to work are dropping from 33% to 20%. Accordingly, employees working one day a week will now qualify.
- The government will pay 61.67% of hours not worked up to a monthly cap per employee of £1,541.75.
- Employers will need to cover 5% of hours not worked up to a monthly cap of £125.
Benefits for employees
- Employees who are laid off but still work at least one day a week will receive two-thirds of their pay for hours not worked – up to the monthly caps set out above.
- Employees receiving the JSS Open grant cannot be made redundant or placed on redundancy notice if the employer is claiming the JSS Open for that employee.
Benefit for employers
- Under the original JSS scheme, employers were faced with paying one-third of hours not worked. Under the JSS Open, this is now reduced to just 5%.
A word of caution for employers
As with the broader JSS scheme, November’s claims will be processed in December via an online portal. Subsequent months’ claims will thus be paid one month in arrears. Employers will need to accommodate the cash-flow consequences as wages will need to be paid before any JSS Open grants are received.
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