Please note: The information contained in this article is correct as of 24/09/20. Due to the ongoing nature of the government guidance, if you require specific legal advice, please speak with a solicitor.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new Job Support Scheme in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, which will start in November and is set to replace the furlough scheme that has been in place since March.

In an address to the House of Commons today he said:

The Government will directly support the wages of people in work, giving businesses who face depressed demand the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours rather than making them redundant.

As part of the Chancellor’s ‘winter economy plan’, a wage subsidy scheme will now be available for businesses in order to help protect jobs over the winter, and will see workers get three quarters of their normal salaries for six months.

It is also set to help employers to top up salaries in businesses which are still unable to take employees back full-time.

How long will the scheme run?

The Job Support Scheme will begin on 1 November and run for 6 months, until end of April 2021.

Who is eligible?

The scheme will only be available to businesses with employees who are working less hours than they normally would due to a decrease in demand.

To be eligible, employees must work at least one-third of their normal hours.

How will it work?

Employers will continue to pay staff for hours that they work (a minimum of a third of their hours) but for the hours they’ve not worked the government and their employer will each pay one third of their equivalent salary.

How is it calculated?

The scheme is based on an individual employee’s normal salary, with the government contribution capped at £697.92 per month.

Rishi Sunak has said that this means the employee would get at least 77% of their pay.

This new Job Support Scheme is another measure introduced by the Government to the economy and businesses as much as possible. Other current help for employers in terms of their employment and their workforce includes:

  • £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

Farleys’ employment team are here for you if you need to discuss any employment changes to your business as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

If you require any legal advice on the Job Support Scheme or any other employment law matters arising from the coronavirus pandemic, please contact Farleys Solicitors on 0845 287 0939 or send your enquiry by email.