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job support scheme

Updated 2 November 2020

NOTE: Since the publication of this article the Government has announced that the introduction of the Job Support Scheme will be postponed and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended – see Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended

On the 22 October 2020 the government announced  that the terms of the Job Support Scheme (JSS)  have been amended to provide greater support to those businesses that have been forced to close due to restrictions or who are facing a decreased demand due to COVID 19 and to help keep employees in work. The new Scheme will come into effect from the 1 November 2020 and at the moment it is envisaged that it will be in place for 6 months until 30 April 2021.

There are two different types of support available:

  1. JSS Open for those business suffering a decreased demand; and
  2. JSS Closed for those businesses legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions.

We are still waiting for further details from the government but  for the moment we set out below a summary of the terms of the schemes:

JSS Open

  • This is for businesses who can operate safely but who are facing a decreased demand over the winter months due to COVID 19;
  • Employees will need to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours per week;
  • Employers must pay employees as normal for the hours worked;
  • Employees will then receive 66.67% of their normal pay for hours not worked (subject to cap);
  • Employers will pay 5% for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month with the discretion to pay more if they wish;
  • The government will pay the remainder of 61.67% of reference salary  up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month;
  • This will ensure employees continue to receive at least 73% of their normal wages, where they earn £3,125 a month (£37,500 pa) or less;
  • The scheme will not cover Class 1 employer NICs or pension contributions and these will remain payable by the employer;
  • Employers must have agreed the temporary working arrangement for shorter hours in writing with employees and this must be kept for 5 years;
  • Employers must also keep a written record of the hours the employee works;
  • Claims can be made online through gov.uk from 8 December 2020 and will be payable on a monthly basis.

JSS Closed

  • This is for businesses who have been legally required to close their premises as a direct result of the coronavirus restrictions
  • Each employee who cannot work due to these restrictions will receive two thirds of their normal pay up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month (the employer has the discretion to pay more if they wish)
  • The payment is fully funded by the government
  • Employees may also be entitled to additional financial support, including Universal Credit.

Further details in respect of the scheme and eligibility requirements can be found here: Job Support Scheme and we are told full details will be provided by the end of the month.

Please do contact one of our Employment Solicitors call Paula Stuart on 07887 998799 or Stuart Snelson on 07715 110425  if you would like advice on the JSS or any other employment matter.

The Employment Team

  • Paula Stuart Partner
    Employment 01908 689345
    Paula has over 20 years’ experience practising employment law and provides clear and practical advice to all clients in all aspects of employment matters. Paula also delivers bespoke seminars to clients to meet their specific training needs. Recent courses include ‘The Essentials of Employment Law’ and ‘Best Practice when Managing Redundancies’


  • Stuart Snelson Partner
    Employment 07715 110425
    Stuart is Head of the Employment Department and has over 20 years’ experience advising on all aspects of employment and pensions law.   His partner led service provides practical and commercially focused advice to a wide range of local, national and international clients on the whole range of work related matters.