Covid 19 Business Support

Job Support Scheme - the successor to furlough

As you may know the Chancellor has announced a new scheme designed to help businesses affected by Covid-19 to retain their employees. Basic details of the scheme are as follows:

  • it will come into force from 1st November 2020 and last for 6 months until April 2021
  • all employers with a UK bank account and PAYE scheme can claim the grant; it is not necessary to have accessed the Job Retention (furlough) Scheme
  • large businesses will need to meet a financial assessment test to show they have been adversely affected by Covid-19; it is not expected that large businesses using the scheme will be paying dividends or the like whilst accessing it
  • the employer will pay its employees for time worked but 1/3 of hours not worked will be paid for by the government (up to a cap of £697.92 a month) with 1/3 being paid for by the employer thereby ensuring that employees receive at least 77% of their usual wages provided the cap isn't exceeded; it is not expected that employers will top up their employees' wage at their own expense
  • to be eligible employees must be;
    • working at least 1/3 of their normal hours for the first 3 months of the scheme; after 3 months this threshold may be revised
    • on the employer's PAYE payroll on or before 23rd September 2020
  • employees can go on and off the scheme and don't have to be working the same pattern each month but the minimum working period is 7 days
  • an employee cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy whilst their employer is claiming the grant for that employee
  • claims can be made from December 2020  - after payment to the employee has been made and reported to HMRC via an RTI return 
  • HMRC will check claims and may withhold payment or require re-payment for claims which are found to be fraudulent or incorrect
  • employers must agree the new short-time working arrangements with their employees, amend employment contracts and notify the employees in writing; the agreement must be made available to HMRC if requested
  • it is HMRC's intention to inform employees of full details of claims made


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