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28th October 2020

Changes to the New Job Support Scheme

As the furlough scheme is ending 1 November, the UK government has been working on a new job support scheme to replace wages and help businesses survive the ongoing economic hardships brought on by the pandemic.

New changes to the Job Support Scheme were just announced, with the government set to replace half of employee wages and allowing employees to work less hours before qualifying for the new plan. The new scheme has been evolving since it was announced, due to new local and national restrictions and new 3-tier COVID-19 alert levels that could cause certain businesses to close completely.

The hospitality sector could be hit harder than other businesses, while still remaining open, so the JSS has created 2 categories for the scheme – JSS Open for businesses that remain open, and JSS Closed for businesses forced to close due to restrictions. The new Job Support Scheme will begin 1 November and will last for 6 months.

The government is trying to save businesses and avoid redundancies, so they have revised the scheme to lower the minimum number of hours employees must work before qualifying for the JSS. Employees must work 20% with employers paying employee salaries up to the 20% limit and contribute 5% of unworked hours capped at £125 per month. The government will pay up to 61.67% for hours not worked with a cap of £1541.75. This is an increase from the previous cap of only £697.92.

The new Job Support Scheme has not been communicated from the government with enough detail for businesses to understand what they need to do in order to access the scheme, so it is going to be a challenging transition to the new Job Support Scheme by 1 November.

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