New Job Support Scheme announced - UPDATED

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A new job scheme to replace the current Job Retention Scheme has been announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak today (September 24).

The new job scheme will start on November1, 2020 to replacing the furlough scheme, which ends 31 October 2020.

All small and medium-sized businesses are eligible, larger businesses must show their turnover has fallen during the pandemic.

Employers can use the new scheme even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme. 

The new Government scheme will last for six months to April 30, 2021 and to be eligible employees will need to be working a minimum of 33% of their hours.

For the remaining hours not worked the Government and employer will pay one third of wages each.

This means:

Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work - but for the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary.

Employees who can only go back to work on shorter time will still be paid two thirds of the hours for those hours they can’t work.

The level of grant will be calculated based on employee’s usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month.

By way of an example an employee working 33% of their hours will receive at least 77% of their pay, 22% paid by the Government and 55% paid by their employer (the “worked” 33% plus 22%).

Who is eligible?

• 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 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

• Large businesses will have to meet a financial assessment test, so the scheme is only available to those whose turnover is lower now than before experiencing difficulties from Covid-19. There will be no financial assessment test for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

• Employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll on or before September 23, 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment to That employee to HMRC must have been made on or before September 23, 2020.

• In order to support viable jobs, for the first three months of the scheme the employee must work at least 33% of their usual hours. After three months, the Government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold.

• Employees will be able to cycle on and off the scheme and do not have to be working the same pattern each month, but each short-time working arrangement must cover a minimum period of seven days.

Exemptions

Large employers using the Job Support Scheme will not be making capital distributions, such as dividend payments or share buybacks, whilst accessing the grant.