On 1 October we outlined the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) which is due to come into effect on 1 November 2020. The new Expanded Job Support Scheme for closed businesses (local JSS) will also apply to wages paid from 1 November, but it is really just another furlough scheme.
The local JSS will only apply where the business premises are closed to customers as a direct result of coronavirus regulations, whether those closure rules have been set by the national UK Government or by one of the devolved administrations. However, businesses that continue to trade by providing a delivery or takeaway service can use this scheme.
To qualify an employee must be furloughed for a period of at least seven days, during which they should do no work for the employer. The employee must have been on the payroll on or before 23 September 2020 and included in an RTI return for that employer by that date. The employee cannot be placed on notice of redundancy or be made redundant while the employer is claiming a grant for him or her.
The employer will have to pay the employee at least two thirds of their usual wage (to be defined) for the furlough period plus the normal employment costs of NIC and workplace pension contributions. The employer can pay higher wages if they wish, but they can only reclaim 66.67% the usual wage from HMRC, capped at £2,100 per month. HMRC will not repay the employer’s NIC costs or employer’s pension contributions for the worker.
Unlike the grants under the CJRS, grants for both forms of the JSS will only be paid once HMRC has received the RTI return for the period that shows the wages have been paid to the employee. The portal for making claims under both strands of JSS will open on 1 December.
As a means to combat fraud HMRC will publish details of the businesses who take up grants under either JSS. This will allow employees to see if their employer has applied for funding for their job.