13th October 2020 / COVID-19 Updates

Job Support Scheme Expansion

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The Job Support Scheme will be expanded to support businesses that have been forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions. The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.

Businesses whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work - protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted.

Below are the key highlights of the scheme:

  • The Job Support Scheme will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close due to coronavirus restrictions.
  • The government will pay two-thirds of employees’ salaries to protect jobs over the coming months.
  • Businesses required to close in local lockdowns can also get a cash grant up to £3,000 per month rather than up to £1,500 per three weeks, and they are eligible for payment sooner - after only two weeks of closure rather than three.
  • Employers will not be required to contribute to wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions.
  • Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.

Key things to be aware of:

  • The employee has to be made aware of the new JSS and agrees to be included within it and, where applicable, the employment contract changed to accommodate this. All of this should be done in writing and HMRC can, further on down the line, request evidence of the said agreement. Failure to do so could prevent a claim under JSS being approved or there could be a clawback of the claim upon an HMRC enquiry.
  • Businesses who are forced to close by the local public health authority due to a covid-19 outbreak within the business itself will unfortunately not be eligible to claim.

As more information is released we will continue to keep you updated.

The expansion of the Job Support Scheme will provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time.

Rishi Sunak - Chancellor of the Exchequer
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