Job Support Scheme Expansion for Closed Business Premises
Announced on Friday 9th October is an expansion to The Job Support Scheme to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of Coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK.
This expansion of the JSS will help businesses through the period they are affected by these restrictions, supporting the wage costs of employees who have been instructed to and cease work in eligible premises and enabling those premises to reopen as quickly as possible when they can.
Who is eligible?
In line with the rules for the JSS: all employers with a UK bank account and a UK PAYE scheme registered on or before 23 September 2020 can claim the scheme. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment to that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before this date. This scheme will cover businesses that, as a result of restrictions set by one or more of the four governments in the UK, are legally required to close their premises. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection only services from their premises.
The scheme will pay a grant to the employer calculated on the number of eligible employees who have been instructed to and cease work at the relevant premises. Employers will only be able to use the scheme for employees who cannot work (paid or unpaid) for that employer. Employers must be instructed to and cease work for a minimum of 7 consecutive (or calendar) days.
An employee can return to work at a later date. Claims must not overlap and must be made monthly in arrears. These payments will be taxable, and employers will be required to cover employer NICS and automatic enrolment pension contributions in full, where applicable, but are not required to make further contribution to wage costs. However, employers can top up employee pay if they wish.
Businesses required to close because of specific workplace outbreaks by local public health authorities are not eligible for this scheme. In line with the rules of the JSS, neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Similar to the Job Support Scheme, where employees receive two-thirds of their wages for time not worked, the grant per eligible employee available from the UK Government is two-thirds of their normal pay up to a limit of £2100 per month. Further detail on how normal pay is calculated will follow from HMRC in due course.
The employer can claim under the rules announced on 9 October if their premises are closed. When premises re-open, employers can claim under the JSS for firms facing reduced demand under the criteria set out on 24 September.
In line with the JSS, employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus for employees provided they are eligible and previously part of the CJRS.
JSS grants can be used by employers to pay an employee’s wages and help meet the JRB Minimum Income Threshold.
Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period within which their employer is claiming the grant for that employee.
The employer must use the scheme to cover their employees’ wages and pay relevant payroll taxes. The whole of the grant must be used to meet employee costs.
The grant will not cover Class 1 employer NICs or pension contributions, these contributions will remain payable by the employer.
Payments will be made in arrears, reimbursing the employer for the Government’s contribution. This is a temporary scheme, available to employers from 1 November 2020 for 6 months and will be reviewed in January.
After Rishi Sunak’s announcement, HMRC have now released further information surrounding The Job Support Scheme. This scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, presented his ‘Plan for Jobs’ to Parliament on Wednesday 8 July 2020 outlining how the government will support the UK’s economic recovery while continuing to prioritise people’s health. As part of this, the government is introducing a new Job Retention Bonus to provide additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees in meaningful employment, after the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020.