Under mounting threat of legal challenges against local lockdown measures in the north of England, on Friday evening the Chancellor confirmed that businesses which are legally required to close due to increased restrictions will be entitled to enhanced financial support under the new Job Support Scheme (JSS).
It might be helpful to refer to our previous article on the Job Support Scheme.
- Enhanced support will be available for businesses whose premises are “legally required to close as a direct result of Coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK”.
- This confirms that business throughout the UK, including devolved regions, will be eligible to receive enhanced financial support.
- Applicants must still qualify for the JSS generally by having a UK bank account and PAYE scheme which has been registered on or before 23 September 2020 with an RTI submission for each relevant employee on or before that date.
- Employees must have been instructed to and have ceased work at the premises which has been legally required to close.
- Employers can only claim for those employees who “cannot work (paid or unpaid) for that employer”.
- This suggests that this extended support is primarily designed to support the hospitality and retail sectors if restaurants, bars/pubs, entertainment venues or shops are required to close if local or national lockdown measures are reimposed, leaving many “front of house” or “shop floor” staff unable to perform any work. It also suggests that employers should not claim in respect of employees who can continue working from home or perhaps from another location.
- Employers must be instructed to and cease work for at least 7 consecutive (or calendar) days.
- Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period within which their employer is claiming grant support for them.
What support is available?
- Under the regular JSS, employees must work for at least 33% of their normal hours and are paid for these as normal. The cost of their remaining wages is split in three between the employer, the government (via grant support) and the employee (via wage reduction). This means that for employees who work the minimum 33%, the government will cover approximately 22% of their wages (one third of the 67% of hours they do not work).
- Under the enhanced JSS, the grant support available for eligible employees will increase to two-thirds of an employee’s normal pay, up to a limit of £2,100 per month for each employee.
- The government will publish further guidance on calculating “normal” pay.
- Employers are still required to cover employer NIC and pension contributions.
Please contact Jack firstname.lastname@example.org or your usual Tughans contact, who can refer you to the employment team.
While great care has been taken in the preparation of the content of this article, it does not purport to be a comprehensive statement of the relevant law and full professional advice should be taken before any action is taken in reliance on any item covered.