What do charities and social enterprises need to know about the new Job Support Scheme?

The Job Support Scheme was originally designed to help with the wages of employees placed on short-time working from November onwards, following the closure of the Furlough Scheme.

For six months starting at the beginning of November, eligible employers will be able to claim a Government grant of up to £697.92 per month to support the wages of staff who are put on short time, provided that they continue to work at least 33% of their normal working hours.

On 9 October the Government announced the extension of the new Scheme to provide alternative support for businesses during periods of complete shut-down because of local coronavirus restrictions.  Under this part of the Scheme, the grant per eligible employee will be two-thirds of their normal pay, up to a limit of £2100 per month, for periods during which they are prevented from working because of these restrictions.

Which employers are eligible?

All employers with a UK PAYE scheme will be able to claim the grant.  It does not matter whether or not they have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

However, large businesses (as yet to be defined) will have to meet a financial assessment test.  That will involve demonstrating that their turnover has been reduced because of the impact of Covid-19.  

Although nothing has yet been announced about whether public sector bodies can qualify, assuming they meet the above eligibility requirements, we anticipate that if such organisations are technically eligible, Government guidance will limit their ability to use the Scheme in practice, as has happened with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

For more information on the Job Support Scheme, read Charles Pigott’s article, and for more on other legal issues arising as a result of the pandemic, head over our Coronavirus hub.

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