The ‘Job Support Scheme’, what is it and how does it work?

The JSS has been introduced to replace furlough, a scheme which saw employees be paid 80% of their wages by the government whilst their work had to close.

Furlough has since been brought to an end, and the JSS will act as the new Government support system for the foreseeable future. So…if your employers hasn’t explained this to you already, you might be wondering: what exactly is the Job Support Scheme, and how does it work?

Who can use the JSS?

You are eligible to use the JSS if you have been on your employer’s payroll since at least September 23rd. You must be off work for at least a week to claim on the scheme.

Whilst using the JSS your hours may be altered, and you can be moved on and off the scheme. Employers can claim JSS funds from the 8th December onwards, and will be reimbursed once the salaries are paid.

The self-employment grant has also been doubled to 40% of profits over a three-month period, up to a maximum of £3750.

The Breakdown

The furlough system used to cover 80% of your contractual wage, the new JSS covers 67% of your contractual wage up to a maximum of £2083.33. BBC News have provided this useful visual to display the comparative breakdown:

Job Support Scheme Breakdown

Whilst the pay covered is clearly lower than it was on the Furlough scheme, the JSS is designed for much shorter terms.

If Work is Open, but Quiet

Support is provided for workplaces which remain open, but have seen their incoming business drastically reduced. For instance in pubs and cafes in high-risk locations such as London and Essex.

The Part-time Job Support Scheme visual above displays how this support will work and will provide some relief for businesses that are unable to trade at their usual level. The maximum contribution here that the government will make is £1,541.75.

Further Business Support

Depending on which tier the business is in, they may be able to use the following support:

  • Tier three businesses can claim a grant of up to £3,000 a month if they are affected by Coronavirus restrictions, whether they are open or closed
  • Hospitality, accommodation and leisure firms in tier two and three areas will be eligible for a backdated grant of up to £2,100 per month, on top of any other funding. Devolved nations will be given the equivalent funding for other nations, under the Barnett Formula.
  • £1,000 for every furloughed employee kept on until at least the end of January
  • £1,500 for every out-of-work 16-24 year-old given a ”high quality” six-month work placement
  • £2,000 for every under-25 apprentice taken on until the end of January, or £1,500 for over-25s

Whilst the JSS undoubtedly will provide relief for businesses and help the economy to stay afloat, those on low income may find that the JSS leaves them in an extremely precarious position, even more so than furlough.