HMRC have published full guidance on the Job Support Scheme which was due to come in to force from 1 November, but has been postponed.
On Saturday 31 October, on the eve of JSS go live, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that there would be another period of lockdown in England, beginning on Thursday 5 November, to last for four weeks.
Following the update, the Treasury published an announcement from the Chancellor to inform us that the Furlough scheme would, as a result of the lockdown, be extended to December.
Furloughed employees will continue to receive 80% of their usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Employers will only need to fund the Employer NIC and Minimum Pension oncosts.
Additional support for busines will also include, for business premises forced to close in England, grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant and the mortgage holidays will also no longer end on 31 October as expected.
Key Features of CJRS
This extended Job Retention Scheme will operate as the previous scheme did, with businesses being paid upfront to cover wages costs. There will be a short period when we need to change the legal terms of the scheme and update the system and businesses will be paid in arrears for that period.
The CJRS is being extended until December. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work.
As under the current CJRS, flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
Further details, including how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service, will be provided shortly.
The Job Support Scheme will be introduced following the end of the CJRS.
Eligibility - employers
All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS.
The government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the scheme, as has already been the case for CJRS, but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted. All other eligibility requirements apply to these employers.
Eligibility - employees
To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
Employees can be on any type of contract. Employers will be able to agree any working arrangements with employees.
Employers can claim the grant for the hours their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. Such calculations will broadly follow the same methodology as currently under the CJRS.
When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
Employers will need to report hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
For worked hours, employees will be paid by their employer subject to their employment contract and employers will be responsible for paying the tax and NICs due on those amounts.
For hours not worked by the employee, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. The grant must be paid to the employee in full.
Employers will pay employer NICs and pension contributions and should continue to pay the employee for hours worked in the normal way.
As with the current CJRS, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
The Government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end-date of CJRS and this extension.
Job Support Scheme (JSS)
The Job Support Scheme has now been postponed until furlough scheme ends, guidance that was published late on Friday 30 October has been withdrawn due to the extension of CJRS.
The landing page to JSS leads to further information on both JSS Open which will be available for employers where their employees are able to work for a minimum of 20% of their usual hours, but their normally working hours have been restricted by Coronavirus restrictions.
JSS Closed is for businesses who have been forced to closed due to coronavirus restrictions.
Should you have any specific queries regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.