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Job Support Scheme – Further update

Well, things have changed, yet again, since our email below on the new Job Support Scheme. We are still awaiting further details to be published, but this is what we know so far….

How it looks now:

  1. There is a full detailed overview policy paper published by the HMRC. We recommend printing this out to refer to if you intend to use or assess using the scheme.
  2. It will begin on the 1st November 2020 and run for 6 months, ending on the 30th April 2021.
  3. There will now be 2 schemes JSS Open for businesses that are remaining open & JSS Closed for businesses that have been required to close under lockdown regulations:

 JSS Open

  1. Employee will need to work at least 20% (no longer 33%) of their normal hours and will be paid normal pay for those hours by you.
  2. They will receive two-thirds of pay for the hours they do not work.
  3. For the two-thirds top-up, the government will pay 61.67% and you will pay 5%), plus NI and pension contributions on the full amount.
  4. This will ensure employees continue to receive at least 73% of their normal wages, where they earn £3,125 a month or less.
  5. You can opt to top up to full pay if you wish to.
  6. There mustbe a written agreement between employer and employee, agreeing to the changes.

JSS Closed

  1. The employees will receive two-thirds of their normal wages, funded by the government up to a cap of £2,083.33 per month.
  2. You will have to pay the NI and pension contributions on that amount.
  3. You can opt to top up to full pay if you wish to.
  4. There must be a written agreement between employer and employee, agreeing to the changes.
  5. Employees can come on and off the scheme, but each period on the scheme must be for a minimum of 7 days (it is not yet clear if this is calendar or working days).
  6. You will be reimbursed in arrears for the government contribution and claims can be made from 8th December 2020.
  7. The employee must not be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period the employer is claiming the grant for that employee. It is not yet clear if it can be used to cover notice periods for non-redundancy leavers.
  8. Previous use of the Furlough scheme is not a pre requisite of using this scheme.
  9. The employee must be on payroll on or before the 23rd September 2020.
  10. You can use this scheme alongside the January £1000 Job Retention Bonus, if you meet eligibility requirements.

 Example Calculations:

 To calculate the amount of pay: for employees who are paid a fixed salary, the ‘Reference Salary’ is the greater of:

  • the wages payable to the employee in the last pay period ending on or before 23 September 2020
  • the wages payable to the employee in the last pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020, this may be the same salary calculated under the CJRS scheme

For those who receive variable pay, the ‘Reference Salary’ is the greater of:

  • the wages earned in the same calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • the average wages payable in the tax year 2019 to 2020; or,
  • the average wages payable from 1 February 2020 (or the employee’s start date if later) until 23 September 2020

There are complex rules to work out ‘normal hours’ in sections 5.2 and 5.3 of the policy paper.  Your accountant will be able to assist you with any figures and calculations.

 What now?

 As a HR consultancy, Grassroots HR can advise you on HR matters in relation to the scheme, such as process and documentation, but the processing of a claim is a Payroll function and therefore if you need to seek further guidance or expertise you should refer to your existing payroll provider or accountant. If you don’t have an established provider in place, please let us know and we can signpost you to one.

So that we can address this for you as quickly and efficiently as possible please can you follow the steps, read the relevant documents and provide all the information requested.

The steps are:

  1. You to read the Policy Paper from point 1.
  2. Discuss with your accountant if you need assistance with the figures.
  3. You to apply suitable objective selection criteria to use where you have more than one person undertaking the same role and only providing less weekly work to some.
  4. You to consider if you might rotate employees working less under the scheme.
  5. You fill in and send us the attached Job Support Scheme Data Sheet if you wish to use the scheme.
  6. We produce the letters and email to you for use to gain agreement to the scheme and advise on process.
  7. You to confirm to us any issues with staff not agreeing so that we can address on a case by case basis – you must have agreement in writing to use the scheme.

I know this is a lot to get to grips with, but please carefully review all the above. If you wish to use the scheme please send us the completed Job Support Scheme Data Sheet in the first instance.

As ever we are here to support you with any Covid or other HR matters.

Kindest Regards

Grassroots Team

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