COVID-19: Job Support Scheme Update – 9th October 2020

James Richardson


COVID-19: Job Support Scheme Update – 9th October 2020

Written 9th October 2020.

Our HR team consider the most recent update from the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, on the support package being made available to businesses across the country from 1st November 2020.

What is the scheme and what are today’s announcements?

It has only been a couple of weeks since the government announced the implementation of a new Job Support Scheme (JSS) which will take the place of the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which is due to end on 31 October 2020. However, today has seen the government announce yet further changes to this new scheme and further enhance their contributions. You can find details of the September announcement in relation to the Job Support Scheme here.

The enhanced support announced today means that:

  • any business required to close their premises due to local or national coronavirus restrictions will receive government support to pay two thirds of their employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month.
  • Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and will only be asked to cover NICS and pension contributions.
  • Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
  • The scheme will begin on 1 November 2020 and will be available for six months, with a review point in January. In line with the rest of the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via a HMRC claims service that will be available from early December.
  • The scheme is UK wide and the UK Government will work with the devolved administrations to ensure the scheme operates effectively across all four nations.

What does this mean for me as an employer?

Cited by the Chancellor as “a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time”, the government clearly hope this new scheme will be enough to provide some comfort to employers and help retain jobs in what is a very challenging time for businesses across the country.
It is important that you take steps to keep up to date on the current schemes available and for businesses to be aware of what financial aid is available. If you are unsure, or need further clarity then you should seek advice and French Duncan HR Services are here to help you navigate this challenging time.

What’s our advice for businesses?

Whilst we welcome all support available to our clients that will help to maintain cash flow, maintain jobs and ultimately keep the economy going as much as possible, the enhanced measures being introduced today are indicative of UK’s position in the fight against coronavirus and the fact that it is likely restrictions will need to be implemented and lifted multiple times in the months to come.

Employers should therefore think carefully about any contingency plans, or steps that can be taken to ensure their business can be as prepared as possible for a cycle of restrictions being introduced over the coming winter months.
When planning for the future it will be necessary to think critically about how helpful the scheme’s being made available are and do not allow these to dissuade you from making difficult decisions. To discuss how we can help you, please contact us on 0141 221 2984 or email Louise McCosh, HR Director at L.McCosh@frenchduncan.co.uk

You may wish to also review our recent blog “What do further COVID restrictions in Scotland mean for you and your business?” which outlines some useful advice in managing changes to periods of furlough and the impact the pandemic may be having on your staff’s mental wellbeing.

 

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Full details of how we can help you around COVID-19 / Coronavirus is available on our special page (www.frenchduncan.co.uk/covid-19) which you can access by clicking here. We will be keeping all our information updated as things progress and schemes are clarified, so please check back regularly, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to keep informed of all the changes.

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