Coronavirus - Job Support Scheme

Stephen SimpsonEditor's message: The Job Support Scheme is the Government's successor to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and was due to commence on 1 November 2020. However, the Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until 31 March 2021 and the furlough scheme is not being closed as planned on 31 October 2020. This means that the introduction of the Job Support Scheme has been delayed.

Under the Job Support Scheme, a grant is available from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to reimburse employers for a portion of an employee's wage costs, provided that the employee is working, and being paid their normal wages for, at least one-fifth of their usual hours.

For hours not worked, employers must pay the employee two-thirds of their normal wages. The employer must fund 5% of the employee's usual wages for the unworked hours. Employers are able to claim reimbursement from HMRC for 61.67% of the employee's usual wages for the unworked hours, up to a monthly cap. The remaining one-third of the employee's unworked hours are unpaid.

The scheme also provides financial support for businesses that are legally required to close under coronavirus restrictions (ie in a local or national lockdown). In these circumstances, employers are able to claim a grant from HMRC to cover 67% of employees' wages, although there is a monthly cap on this government support.

Stephen Simpson, principal employment law editor

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