Essential Guide: Coronavirus Job Support Scheme

Essential Guide: Coronavirus Job Support Scheme

On 31st October 2020, the furlough scheme introduced by the government will come to an end. To continue supporting businesses and prevent a wave of redundancies, the government will introduce a new initiative called the Job Support Scheme.

What is the Job Support Scheme?

Starting on 1st November 2020, the Job Support Scheme will run for six months initially, until 30th April 2021. The government will top up the salaries of employees that businesses cannot afford take back on a full time basis.

Employees must work a minimum of 33% of their normal hours to be eligible.

How does the Job Support Scheme differ from furlough?

Under the furlough scheme, employees were paid 80% of their salary by the government and 20% by their employer. Under the Job Support scheme, the employee’s salary is split between the employer and the government:

  • The employer pays for the hours the employee works (a minimum of 33% of the employee’s normal hours)
  • The employer pays a third of the employee’s unworked hours
  • The government also pays a third of the employee’s unworked hours (up to a maximum of £697.62 a month)

This means that employees will receive at least 77% of their salary through the scheme (up to the government’s cap).

Additionally, the furlough scheme supported jobs where there was no work available for the employee. Under the Job Support Scheme, the government’s intention is to support ‘viable’ jobs where the employer can continue to provide a minimum level of work and is financially able to contribute towards the employee’s unworked hours. ‘Unviable’ jobs in industries where no work is available may, unfortunately, become redundant.

Does my business still need to pay national insurance and pension contributions?

Yes, these contributions are not covered by the Job Support Scheme.

Which employees are eligible for the Job Support Scheme?

Employees who were employed as of 23rd September 2020 will be eligible for the scheme, and all small and medium-sized businesses can apply. However, larger businesses are only eligible if they are able to prove their turnover has reduced as a result of Coronavirus.

How does my business apply for the scheme?

For details of how to apply for the scheme, visit the GOV.UK website. Businesses can make claims under the scheme from December onwards (for employees working from 1st November).

Your business does not need to have been previously enrolled in the furlough scheme to be able to use the Job Support Scheme.

What other support is available for my business?

Visit our COVID-19 guidance hub to find out what other support is available to small businesses and the self-employed, and limited company directors.