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So many employers have made good use of financial support available during the pandemic.  The nature of this support is changing at the end of this month (October 2020).

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) closes on 31st October 2020 and the new ‘Job Support Scheme’ will open on 1st November 2020. The new scheme provides financial support to help employers retain their staff and will run for six months, with review in January 2021.

Employers will need to assess the ongoing viability of all staff roles past October.  If roles are no longer viable in the longer term it may be best to take action sooner rather than later. However, if demand is likely to pick up, this new scheme may be a great help.

Under the CJRS employers were paid for staff who were ‘furloughed’ and not working.  The new scheme means that staff will have to work at least a third of their contracted hours.  This may change after the first 3 months when the scheme is reviewed.

There are two versions of the Job Support Scheme (JSS):

  • JSS Open scheme, which is for employers facing decreased demand that can stay open.
  • JSS Closed, which is for employers who are required to close their premises.

The level of support is different in each of these two versions.  More details of that can be found here.

The Government contribution will be paid in arrears as a reimbursement to the employer. The grant will not cover Class 1 employer NICs or pension contributions.

  • This does not mean employees need to be working the same hours each month.
  • Employees can cycle on and off the new scheme (although each short time working arrangement must cover a minimum seven-day period).
  • Employees cannot be made redundant or be given notice of redundancy whilst their employer is using the new scheme.
  • You do not need to have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to benefit from JSS.


This article was written on the 29th October 2020.  Further updates/guidance on this scheme are expected in the coming weeks.


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