Job Support Scheme – what you need to know
On the 20th March this year, the Government announced a series of measures that they were putting in place to help businesses through the nationwide lockdown; this included the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The scheme allowed employers to put their staff on temporary leave, or ‘furlough’ while continuing to supply them with a wage which was subsidised up to 80% by the Government.
Since it was first put into the place, the scheme has evolved to support flexible working, while ultimately winding down the amount of the employees’ wage the Government subsidised in decrements until its completion in October.
Navigating frequent changes
While many businesses came out of full lockdown throughout July and August, by no means did things go back to normal. Many businesses had to operate with minimal staff in order to comply with social distancing, as well as protecting vulnerable employees.
Now that COVID-19 figures are rising once again, the Government has introduced further restrictions which mean that all businesses serving food and drink are required to close at 10pm – another significant blow to the hospitality industry and the work available within it.
Life after furlough
As the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comes to an end, it has been clear to the Government that further aid is necessary to support businesses and workers through what could be a difficult winter for many.
In response to this need, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has recently unveiled the latest measures that the Government will introduce when the current scheme ends. This includes the new Job Support Scheme.
How the Job Support Scheme works
Under this scheme, the Government will subsidise employees who are working less than their normal hours due to less demand. To qualify for the scheme, employees will need to work at least a third of their normal hours and be working in what the Government deem a ‘viable job’ and not a role that exists only to benefit from the scheme. This support is targeted to small and medium businesses and any large businesses whose turnover has fallen due to the coronavirus.
Employees will still need to continue to pay staff for the hours they work, but the Government will cover one third of the lost pay from the hours the member of staff cannot work, capped up to £697.92 per month. The employer will also be required to pay a third of the lost pay.
Compared to the furlough scheme, the level of financial support available will be much lower, dropping from 80% of wages to 22%.
When does the Job Support Scheme start?
This scheme will commence on the 1st November and there will be a similar extension to the self-employed grant over this time.