The Job Support Scheme was introduced as part of The Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan, protecting viable jobs in businesses that will face lower demand over the winter months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme can be used along-side the Job Retention Bonus, where the eligibility criteria are met.

When does the scheme start?

  • The scheme opens on 1 November 2020; and
  • It will operate for six months.

How does it work?

  • The employer continues to pay the employee for all hours worked; and
  • The cost of hours not worked will be split between the employer and the Government;
  • For the time not worked, the employee will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual wage;
  • HMRC expects that employers will not top up their employee’s wages above the two-thirds contribution to hours not worked at their own expense; and
  • Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period within which their employer is claiming this grant for them.

How much will the Government contribute?

  • For every hour not worked by the employee, the Government will pay a third of the employee’s usual hourly wage;
  • The Government contribution will be capped at £697.92 a month; and
  • Grant payments will be made in arrears, reimbursing the employer for the Government’s contribution.

How much will the employer contribute?

  • Employers must pay employees their contracted wages for hours worked;
  • The employer will contribute a third of the usual hourly wage for the hours not worked by the employee;
  • This ensures the employee earns a minimum of 77% of their normal wage (where the Government contribution has not been capped); and
  • Class 1 employer NICs and pension contributions will remain payable by the employer.

How will the claims be made?

  • Employers will be able to make a claim from December 2020;
  • Claims will be made online, through GOV.UK;
  • Payments will be on a monthly basis; and
  • Claims can only be made following payment to the employee, and once that payment has been reported to HMRC via an RTI return.

It is important to note that HMRC will check all claims, and payments will be withheld or there will be a requirement to pay them back if a claim is found to be fraudulent.

Further information on the Job Support Scheme, including eligibility criteria and examples of how the scheme works, can be found by downloading our factsheet below.