Coronavirus - Job Support Scheme

Stephen SimpsonEditor's message: The Job Support Scheme replaces the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from the start of November 2020. The scheme is aimed at giving SMEs, plus large businesses with a reduced turnover, the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours, rather than making them redundant.

Under the 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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