HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published further details relating to the Job Support Scheme (JSS), announced by the Chancellor during his Winter Economy Statement in Parliament on 24 September. 

The JSS is intended to support those businesses likely to have to contend with reduced demand over the winter as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, helping to keep employees in ‘viable’ jobs on short-time working.

The scheme, of which there are now two variations – ‘open’ and ‘closed’ will launch on 1 November 2020 – the day after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) closes – and will run for six months until the end of April 2021.

It will be open to all SMEs but will only be available to large businesses (250+ employees) that can evidence the fact that they have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus crisis, through lesser revenues, by passing a Financial Impact Assessment.

Employees claimed for through the JSS must have been present on an employer’s PAYE payroll on 23 September 2020, meaning their employer must have included them on an RTI submission on or before that date. Furthermore, they cannot be on notice of redundancy or be made redundant whilst in receipt of the JSS.


Since first announcing the scheme, in response to heavy criticism, the Government has revised the number of hours an employee must work, to be eligible, and the contribution required from the employer.

Employees must now work a minimum of 20 per cent of the usual working hours, for which they will be paid by the employer at their usual rate.

For the hours not worked the Government will fund 61.67 per cent (capped at £1,541.75 pm), whilst the employer will be liable for a maximum of 5 per cent (capped at £125 pm), and the remaining 33.33% is unpaid.

Pension contributions and National Insurance payments will not be funded by the government and must be paid by the employer alongside any additional ‘benefits’. Employers will be able to claim in arrears from 8 December 2020, with payments made after the claim has been approved.

Expansion of JSS for businesses required to close during Winter

Under the latest three-tier system of Coronavirus restrictions, firms legally required to close down for a period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants, under the ‘JSS Closed’ scheme to pay the wages of staff who cannot work.

These grants will cover around two-thirds of each employees’ salary (67 per cent), capped at £2,083.33 a month. Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and will only be asked to pay National Insurance contributions (NICs) and auto-enrolment pension contributions.

Businesses can only claim a grant where they are subject to a restriction that prevents them from opening and employees must not work for a minimum of seven consecutive days to be eligible.

Employers are only eligible to claim for periods during which the relevant coronavirus restrictions are in place and may be eligible to claim under the JSS Open scheme should they be able to reopen.

All grant payments will be made in arrears through a dedicated HM Revenue & Customs service, which will be available from early December.  Detailed information about eligibility criteria for both the JSS Closed and JSS Open scheme can be found on the GOV.UK website. We anticipate further guidance shortly.

How can George Hay help?

We will continue to monitor further developments and update you accordingly. To speak to one of our team about the upcoming changes, contact us today.

Information correct at time of writing (23/10/2020).

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