What financial support will be available under the Job Support Scheme for businesses that are permitted to remain open under coronavirus restrictions?

Note: The Job Support Scheme was due to open on 1 November 2020, following the closure of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. However, the Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until 31 March 2021 and the introduction of the Job Support Scheme has been postponed.

It is possible that changes will be made to the terms of the Job Support Scheme before it comes into force.

Under the Job Support Scheme for businesses that are allowed to continue operating under coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, an employee can work fewer than their usual hours and the Government will contribute towards their wages for the hours they do not work. The Government contribution is 61.67% of the usual pay for the hours the employee does not work (up to a cap). This part of the scheme is referred to by the Government as "JSS Open".

The employee must work at least 20% of their usual hours, and the employer must pay them their usual pay for the hours they work.

For the hours they do not work, the employer is responsible for paying 5% and the Government will contribute 61.67% (capped at £1,541.75 a month), meaning the employee will receive two-thirds of their usual pay for the hours they do not work.

Take as an example an employee who usually works five days a week and is paid £600 per week. If their hours are reduced to one day a week under the scheme (the minimum 20% required), their weekly pay will be:

  • £120 paid by the employer for the hours worked;
  • £24 paid by the employer, ie 5% of £480, the usual pay for the hours not worked; and
  • £296.02 contributed by the Government, ie 61.67% of £480, the usual pay for the hours not worked.
  • The employee will receive £440.02 in total.

As a further example, if an employee usually works three days a week and is paid £300 per week; if their hours are reduced to one day a week under the scheme, their weekly pay will be:

  • £100 paid by the employer for the hours worked;
  • £10 paid by the employer, ie 5% of £200, the usual pay for the hours not worked; and
  • £123.34 contributed by the Government, ie 61.67% of £200, the usual pay for the hours not worked.
  • The employee will receive £233.34 in total.

The employer will be responsible for paying employer national insurance contributions and auto-enrolment pension contributions as usual.

Employers must pay the Government contribution to the employee and make a claim for reimbursement. Payments under the scheme will be made monthly in arrears. Employees can leave and re-enter the scheme as long as the arrangements for reduced-hour working last for at least seven days.

Separate funding is available under the Job Support Scheme for businesses that are required to close under local or national coronavirus restrictions.