The Job Support Scheme
What Is the Job Support Scheme?
With winter fast approaching and a second wave of Covid-19 possibly on the horizon, many people will be concerned about their jobs. The winter months bring cold and with more and more people staying home, employment can feel uncertain, especially for those in the retail, travel and hospitality sectors.
The Job Support Scheme was announced in September and is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the colder months, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce.
When Does the Job Support Scheme Start?
The scheme opens on the 1 November – just as the Job Retention (furlough) Scheme comes to an end - and will run for six months.
How Will The Job Support Scheme Work?
The idea is that the company will continue to pay the staff member for time worked but the cost of the hours not worked will be split between the employer and the Government. This means that companies will only have to pay half of their employees’ wages and the employee will keep their job.
The Government will pay a third of hours not worked and the employer will contribute a third. The idea is that employees will still earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wage.
Employers using the new scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention bonus if they meet eligibility. This one-off £1000 payment is for each eligible employee that was furloughed by the employers and kept employed until 31 January 2021.
But Who Does This Scheme Really Benefit?
The new scheme is designed to keep employees in ‘viable’ jobs only on short term working, it does not subsidise a person’s entire wage while they can’t work.
The scheme doesn’t seem to be as generous as the furlough scheme as the Government will pay a maximum of 22% of employees’ wages as opposed to 80% from the previous scheme. It won’t be enough for many employers to keep staff on. Larger businesses must demonstrate that their turnover is now lower than before the pandemic.
The Good News About The Job Support Scheme.
The good news for employees is that they can jump on and off the new scheme and don’t need to work the same hours each month if short time working arrangements cover a minimum seven-day period. Employees can’t be made redundant or given notice whilst they are on the scheme.
...as employers must pay a percentage of the wage in this new scheme, it might be the case that many employers chose to lay off staff if they are struggling, rather than participate in the scheme.
Unfortunately, to some workers, the future is still unclear. Time will tell if this scheme will stem the rapid rise in unemployment this winter but as the Chancellor himself said, “We can’t save every job.”
Read more about The Job Support Scheme here.
Read about The Kickstart Scheme and who it is for here