Employment Law Update – Chancellor Announces Changes to the Job Support Scheme

October 23, 2020


Further to the Chancellor’s announcement on 22 October 2020 making further changes to the Job Support Scheme, HMRC has published the following guidance:

Both schemes will now be referred to as “JSS Open” and “JSS Closed”. The former applies to businesses that can remain open and the latter those businesses that are required to close due to the pandemic.

The rules of the JSS Open are as follows:

  • An employee will need to work 20% (previously 33%) of their normal hours;

  • For the hours worked they will receive their normal pay from their employer, and 2/3rds of their pay for the hours not worked;

  • For the hours not worked (the 2/3rds top up), the employer will pay 5%, plus NI and pension contributions on the full amount. The Government will pay the rest (61.67%), up to a maximum of £1,541.75. This is a change from the previous 50/50 split between the employer and the Government on the 2/3rds top up; and

  • There must a be written agreement between the employer and the employee agreeing to the changes.

The rules of the JSS Closed remain the same as before:

The following applies to both schemes:

  • The employer can top up the wages beyond what is provided for under the schemes. This is different from the previous rules which implied that the employer should not top up wages so the employee would receive their full pay;

  • All SMEs are eligible. However, large companies are only eligible if their turnover has fallen due to the pandemic;

  • Employers will claim in arrears for wages that they have already paid to their employees from 8 December 2020 via an online portal; and

  • Employers cannot claim for employees who have been made redundant or are serving their notice period during the period they are claiming for.

Our employment lawyers will be providing updates on the scheme, as and when further guidance is announced.



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