Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Furloughed Employees
THIS UPDATE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT SHORT NOTICE AS THE GOVERNMENT RELEASES ITS OWN UPDATES – THIS GUIDANCE WAS LAST UPDATED MONDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2020

Job Support Scheme (JSS):

At a glance guide to current and upcoming changes
The government has announced a Job Support Scheme and it is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19.  The intention is to help protect jobs by helping the employer through wage support. It picks up where the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or furlough scheme ends. Although, there is no need for the employee or the employer to have benefitted from the furlough scheme in order to take part.

Here are a few Questions and Answers to help explain how the scheme will work:

When does it start?

1 November 2020

How long is the scheme expected to run for?

6 months to 30 April 2021

What is the minimum number of hours that an employee needs to work for in order to qualify?

33% of their normal hours for the first 3 months and the government will review the position thereafter.

Further information will be published shortly as to the definition of ‘normal’ hours.  This will follow a similar definition as that used for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme)

Who tops up the payment to the employee?

The government pays wages representing 1/3 of the hours not worked and the employer must also pay wages for 1/3 of the hours not worked (in addition to paying for wages for hours actually worked in the normal way).  The maximum amount that the government will pay is capped at £697.92 per month.

For example, if Dave normally worked 100 hours then he must actually work 33 hours in the pay period to qualify under this scheme. He has therefore ‘not worked’ for 67 hours.  Of this 67 hours the government will pay wages for 22 hours as this is 1/3 of 67 hours.  The employer must also pay for 22 hours not worked to match the government.  In total, to allow for rounding, the employee will be paid for 78 hours.

Can the employer top up the wages to 100%?

The intention is that this does not happen.

Does the employee or employer need to have participated in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)?

In a word, no.

Does the size of the employer matter?

The scheme will be open to all UK employers that have a UK bank account.

However, large businesses will face a ‘financial assessment test’, under which they will need to demonstrate that their turnover is lower than it was as a result of Covid-19.

As part of this test, it is expected that in order to be eligible, large businesses must not be paying dividends or undertaking a buyback of shares for example.  We expect further detail regarding this shortly.

There will be no financial assessment test for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

Eligible employees

The employee must have been on the employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 23 September and a RTI submission must have been made to HMRC showing a payment as having been made to that employee on or before 23 September too.

Can an employee be made redundant?

An employee cannot be made redundant during the period for which the employer claims the grant.

When will the grants be paid?

They will be paid in arrears and a claim can be made once the relevant RTI submission has been submitted.

Will this mean that employers cannot claim the job retention bonus?

No, claiming the Job Support Scheme will not have an impact on the eligibility for the £1,000 Jogb Retention Bonus.

NICs and Pension contributions

The grant will not cover Class 1 NICs or pension contributions, although these will remain payable by the employer.

Are the payments taxable?

Yes if they are referable to business.  In most cases this will be a simple yes.  Section 106 and Schedule 16 of Finance Act 2020 provides for the taxation of coronavirus support payments.

Examples

If an employee works for the minimum 33% of their normal hours then ultimately the employer will pay them for 55% of their normal hours and the government will pay the employee for 22% of their normal wages (capped at £697.92 per month).  This will mean the employee earns 78% of their normal wages having worked 33% of their normal hours.

If the employee had worked 70% of their normal hours then the employee would earn 90% of their normal wages.  The government would pay 10% of this and the employer would meet 80%.

 

Please do get in touch with our Tax Helplines if you would like to discuss this scheme. We will update this page regularly in order to bring you the changes as and when they happen.

If you have any further queries regarding the above or you wish to speak to one of our advisors regarding this please call the Croner Taxwise Tax, VAT and Payroll advice line fill out the form to request a callback.

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FOR ANY CORONAVIRUS QUERIES, PLEASE CONTACT OUR HR, TAX OR PAYROLL TEAM HERE: http://bit.ly/TaxVATAdvice 


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Tax Advice Consultant
0844 892 2470

Pras has over 15 years’ experience in practice having worked for PwC and then Grant Thornton UK LLP immediately prior to joining the team. He is able to advise on a wide range of taxation matters and in particular issues relating to corporation tax and the challenges that owner-managed businesses face.

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