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The Job Support Scheme is expanding to provide an additional level of support for businesses which are legally required to close as a direct result of national or local lockdown. The Job Support Scheme will be open from 1 November 2020 for six months until 30 April 2021, with a review period in January 2021.  

Employer eligibility  

  • All employers with a UK bank account and a UK PAYE scheme registered by 23 September 2020 can claim under the scheme.  
  • The scheme will pay a grant to the employer based on the number of eligible employees who have not worked for at least seven consecutive days due to the company being closed as a result of lockdown measures.  
  • Claims must not overlap. Employers will be able to claim in arrears from 8 December 2020, with payments made after the claim has been approved. These payments will be taxable, and employers will need to pay employer NICs and automatic enrolment pension contributions in full, where applicable. 
  • When a business re-opens, they can claim for eligible employees under the Job Support Scheme Open.  
  • The employer doesn’t need to have previously used the Job Retention Scheme.  

Employee eligibility  

  • Employers can only claim for employees who were in their employment from 23 September 2020. If employees ceased employment after 23 of September 2020 and were subsequently rehired, then employers can claim for them. 
  • Employees will be entitled to receive two-thirds of their wages for time not worked, up to a limit of £2,083.33 per month. The employer has the discretion to top this up if they wish. 
  • Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the time that their employer is claiming the grant for them.  
  • The employee does not need to have previously been furloughed under the Job Retention Scheme. 
  • Employers must agree the new scheme with relevant staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement (i.e. in relation to remuneration). This must be agreed with the employee in writing and a record must be kept for at least 5 years. The agreement must be made available to HMRC on request.  

Claiming the grant  

  • The grant will cover an employer’s wage costs and must only be used to meet employee costs.  
  • Employers will be able to make a claim on a monthly basis online through the gov.uk site from 8 December 2020 covering salary for pay periods ending and paid in November. HMRC intends to publish the names of employers who have used the scheme, the public can report fraud to HMRC if they have evidence to suggest an employer is abusing the scheme. 

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.