The Job Support Scheme (‘JSS’) replaces the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘CJRS’)
It has two parts:
- A short-time wage subsidy scheme, aimed at protecting jobs in those businesses facing lower demand due to COVID-19 – JSS Open.
- A closed business wage support scheme, aimed at subsidising employers’ wage costs where they are legally required to close their premises – JSS Closed.
Both parts of the JSS commence on 1 November 2020 and will run for a period of six months. The government has published a policy paper explaining the JSS and there is a factsheet available for each scheme. Further practical guidance is expected by end of October 2020.
The latest version announced on the JSS on 22 September 2020 reflects the recent resurgence in the virus and has taken into account the three tier restrictions in England.
Deciding which part of the JSS applies:
- JSS Open applies, broadly, where reduced demand results in employees working short-time (a minimum of 20% of their usual hours).
- JSS Closed applies where local or regional coronavirus restrictions legally require business premises to close as a direct result of COVID-19 restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK and employees cannot work at all for seven consecutive days or more.
Employers may need to access both parts of the JSS, for example, if some of their operations are required to close in one region, while other locations not subject to legal closure. Employers may access either parts of the JSS even if they have not previously used the CJRS.
The two parts of the JSS share some similarities, for example, in relation to redundancy restrictions, shareholder distributions plus payment of employee taxes and pension contributions. However, there are significant differences, such as employer eligibility conditions and the generosity of the JSS grants.