Job Support Scheme, SSP Relief and Self-Employed Support

Job Support Scheme

The Chancellor has announced a new Job Support Scheme which will supersede the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which closes at the end of October. 

  • The new JSS scheme will begin on 1st November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January 2021.
  • Employers will be able to make a claim online through Gov.uk from December 2020. They will be paid on a monthly basis.
  • To be eligible, an employee must work at least 33% of their normal hours. For the other two thirds of the hours, the Government will pay a third and the employer will pay a third, so in total, an employee will receive 77% of the full pay (i.e. the government will be paying 22.5% of wages)
  • Large businesses will have to prove that they’ve been adversely affected by Covid to be eligible for the Job Support Scheme.
  • The scheme will be available to all businesses and all employees, regardless of whether they have been part of the CJRS in the past
  • Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.

The guidance for the Job Support Scheme has been updated to include businesses required to close as a result of the new Alert Scheme. This means:

  • Cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns also increased to up to £3,000 per month paid every two weeks
  • The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.
  • Employers will be required to cover NICS and pension contributions
  • Employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days
  • Payments will be made in arrears - a HMRC claims service will be available to do this from early December
  • Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before 1 November are eligible for the CJRS. This includes businesses such as nightclubs and convention centres that are still legally required to remain closed nationally.
  • New information has been added to clarify the support for businesses with different rateable values including:
    • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of closure (£1,334 per month).
    • Properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of closure (£2,000 per month).

Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1500 per two weeks of closure (£3,000 per month).

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Job Retention Bonus Scheme

This is a one-off, taxable payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each eligible furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.

To be eligible, employees will need to:

  • earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
    have been furloughed by you at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
    have been continuously employed by you up until at least 31 January 2021.
  • Employers will be able to claim the bonus itself between 15th February 2021 and 31st March 2021, once accurate RTI data to 31st January has been received. 

You can claim for employees that:

  • you made an eligible claim for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • you kept continuously employed from the end of the claim period of your last Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim for them, until 31 January 2021
  • are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period for you on 31 January 2021 (this includes people serving notice of retirement)
  • you paid enough an amount in each relevant tax month and enough to meet the Job Retention Bonus minimum income threshold (see below)

It’s important to note that employers will still be able to claim the Bonus for employees receiving support through the recently announced Job Support Scheme which will supersedes the CJRS

You may be eligible to claim the Job Retention Bonus for employees of a previous business which were transferred to you if:

  • TUPE rules applied
  • the PAYE business succession rules applied
  • the employees were associated with the transfer of a business from the liquidator of a company in compulsory liquidation where TUPE would have applied if the company was not in compulsory liquidation

However, to be eligible for the bonus you must pay your employee a total of at least £1,560 (gross) throughout the tax months:

  • 6 November to 5 December 2020
  • 6 December 2020 to 5 January 2021
  • 6 January to 5 February 2021

And you must do the following now to make sure you’re ready to claim.

  • still be enrolled for PAYE online
  • comply with your PAYE obligations to file PAYE accurately and on time under Real Time Information (RTI) reporting for all employees between 6 April 2020 and 5 February 2021
  • keep your payroll up to date and make sure you report the leaving date for any employees that stop working for you before the end of the pay period that they leave in
  • use the irregular payment pattern indicator in Real Time Information (RTI) for any employees not being paid regularly
  • comply with all requests from HMRC to provide any employee data for past Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims

Click here to read more

Determining which employees meet the minimum income threshold for the Job Retention Bonus

Along with the announcement of the details of the Job Retention Bonus, the Government has published resources to help employers determine eligibility and how to calculate claims.

Click here to calculate 

Statutory Sick Pay Relief Package For SMEs

Small and medium-sized businesses and employers can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

  • The refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.
  • Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible – the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as at 28 February 2020.
  • Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19.
  • Repayments will be at the relevant rate of SSP that has been paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
  • Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note form NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website.
  • Employers can claim from the first qualifying day that an employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after: 
    • 13 March 2020 - if an employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
    • 16 April 2020 - if an employee was shielding because of coronavirus
    • 28 May 2020 - if an employee has been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus, employers can claim from the first qualifying day an employee is off work if the period of sickness started on or after:
  • Tax agents will also be able to make claims on behalf of employers.
  • Employers can make a claim for SSP paid due to coronavirus to employees who have been transferred under TUPE if you had:
      • a PAYE scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
      • fewer than 250 employees (including TUPE transferred employees) across all PAYE payroll schemes on 28 February 2020

Read more here

Self-Employment Scheme Extension Guidance

Guidance on the extension of the Self-Employment Scheme announced has been published. To be eligible for the grant extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:

    • currently, be eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
    • declare that they are currently actively trading and intend to continue to trade
    • declare that they are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus in the qualifying period (the qualifying period for the grant extension is between 1 November and the date of claim)

The extension will provide two grants and will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. HMRC will provide a taxable grant covering 20 per cent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total.

Read more here