October 25, 2020

The New Job Support Scheme: Explained

On 24th September, Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed his Winter Economy Plan to help Britain’s workforce as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue.

He announced a new package of support called the Job Support Scheme. It will be made available to employers who continue to need support after the Job Retention Scheme ends on 31st October. Further changes were announced to this scheme on Thursday 22nd October, alongside a package of business grants for companies in areas facing higher levels of coronavirus restrictions.

So, what is the Job Support Scheme? Which employees can be part of it? And how is the scheme actioned through the payroll? Keep reading to find out.

You can also sign up to our live webinar where our experts will explain the new scheme in more detail and answer your questions in a live Q&A.

What is the New Job Support Scheme – Open Scheme?

The Job Support Scheme Open begins on 1st November and will run for six months until 30th April 2021.

Here’s how the scheme works:

  • Employees must work at least 20% of their usual hours to benefit from the scheme. They will receive 66.67% of their normal pay for hours not worked.
  • This will mean employees will receive at least 73% of their normal wages, capped at £3,125 a month.
  • Employers pay their staff for all hours worked, and will also contribute 5% for hours unworked up to a maximum of £125 per month, or more if they choose.
  • The hours not worked (based on the employees’ ‘usual’ hours) will be supported by the government paying 61.67% (up to £1,541.75 per month).
  • There is no requirement for the employer to have previously used the Job Retention Scheme to be eligible to use this new scheme.
  • Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period the employer is claiming the grant for that employee.

Which Employees can be Part of the Open Scheme?

  • Employees must have been on the payroll on or before 23rd September 2020 (and reported on the RTI submission).
  • The employee must work at least 20% of their usual hours for the first three months of the scheme.
  • Employees do not have to have the same working pattern each month, but each short time arrangement must cover a minimum period of seven days.

Reimbursement from the Government

  • Payments will be made in arrears.
  • The grant will not cover class 1 employers NICs or pension contributions – however, these are still payable by the employer.
  • Online claims can be made from December 2020 and will be paid on a monthly basis.


What is the Job Support Scheme – Closed Scheme?

If your business has been legally required to close premises due to the restrictions, the Job Support Scheme Closed enables it to retain employees. The Closed Scheme begins on 1st November and will run for 6 months, closing on the 30th April the same as the Open Scheme.

Here’s how the scheme works:

  • Each employee who cannot work will receive two thirds of their ‘normal pay’. This will be paid by the employer but fully funded by the government.
  • The funding is capped at £2,083.33 per month per employee, however the employer can top this up if they wish.
  • Like the open scheme, there is no prerequisite requirement for the employers to have to have used the JRS scheme to be eligible to use this scheme.
  • Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period the employer is claiming the grant for that employee.
  • ‘Usual wages’ calculations will be a similar methodology to the CJRS scheme. Further guidance on this is expected to be released by the end of October.

Which Employees can be Part of the Closed Scheme?

  • Eligible employers will be able to claim the JSS Closed grant for employees:
    1. whose primary work place is at the premises that have been legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK
    2. that the employer has instructed to and who cease work for a minimum period of at least 7 consecutive calendar days
  • An employer can claim the JSS open and the JSS closed grant at the same time for different employees. This scenario will typically take place where an employer has more than one business premises in a different ‘Tier’ of restriction.
  • Organisations that are ‘publicly’ funded should not use the JSS scheme.
  • Employers can only claim for employees that were in their employment on 23rd September 2020. If an employee ceased employment after 23rd September and were subsequently rehired, then they are still eligible for the scheme.
  • Business premises required to close as a result of specific workplace outbreaks, such as by local public health authorities, are not eligible for this scheme.

How Does the New Scheme Impact Payroll?

HMRC have shared a fact sheet here that includes initial guidance for employers. To understand how this new scheme will be actioned through the payroll, we need to wait for additional, technical guidance to be provided by the HMRC.

What Does this Mean for Moorepay Customers?

Our product team and payroll experts are already on the case. When additional guidance is published by the HMRC, we will be able to understand what is achievable within our payroll software. As soon as we can advise customers of what will be available, and when, we will be in touch.


Please note this article was correct at time of publishing and was last updated on 23rd October 2020. Please see Moorepay’s Knowledge Centre for up-to-date advice.

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About the author

Claire Younger

About the author

Claire Younger

With a career in payroll spanning 24 years, Claire is CIPP qualified and has been with Moorepay for 19 years. Claire has enjoyed a wide range of roles in payroll, starting out as as a Trainee Payroll Administrator, and progressing to a Payroll Manager. She's also worked as an Operations Consultant, Offshoring Consultant, Project Manager, Implementation Manager, Partner Enablement Manager, Strategic Account Manager and most recently, a Business Improvement Manager. Claire is passionate about business improvement, client service and working across multiple teams. She often works in a ‘troubleshooting’ role supporting colleagues in operations and implementation with special projects, process improvement and best practice.

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