With fewer businesses relying on the furlough scheme, I had not updated my blog for the Job Support Scheme (JSS), but the national lockdown expected to be announced this afternoon has raised the bar. The JSS Open and JSS Closed schemes which start on 1 November replaced those announced in the Winter plan as it became apparent that increased lockdown measures would be introduced (Tiers 1-3). There are two schemes, one for employers obliged to close and the other for businesses continuing but with staff only part time:

JSS Open
Under this scheme the employee must work 20% of their normal hours to qualify (agreed in writing with the employer), in addition they must pay 5% of the hours not worked, and the JSS grant will then top this up so a total of 2/3 of the hours not worked is paid for, so for an employee normally paid a gross amount of £1000:
• £200 (20%) must be paid by the employer for hours worked
• £40 (5% of the 80% of hours not worked)
• £493.33 (61.66% of the 80% if hours not worked
• A total of £733.33, ie 73.3% of their normal pay, not as generous as the 80% under the furlough scheme

JSS Closed
This scheme is for businesses where employees cannot work at all, and was aimed at Tier 3 areas, although that looks likely to change in the announcement later on. The grant under this scheme, which must also be agreed in writing, will pay 2/3 of their normal pay, similarly for gross pay of £1000:
• £666.67 will be paid
• The employee only receives 66.7% of their regular salary, worse than both the JSS Open and furlough schemes

In both cases the employer must pay the employers NI contributions and employers pension contribution.

With a new national lockdown it seems likely that there may be more announcements, but in the meantime the Job Support Scheme will be used by many more businesses. You should seek professional advice before taking any steps based on these contents. If you would like advice in this or other areas feel free to call. Alastair Wood, AW Accounting, Gravesend, Kent – Accountants who “speak your language”