Job Support Scheme
This scheme, as the Government describes it, “is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. The company will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the burden of hours not worked will be split between the employer and the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and the employee will keep their job.”
Whilst further guidance on the scheme has yet to be published, we do know that it will open on 1st November 2020 and will continue until April 2021. The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap of £697.92 a month, with the employer also contributing a third. Employees must work at least 33% of their usual hours and be paid their normal contractual wage for hours worked.
For time not worked, employees will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual wages, funded equally by the Government and the employer.
Whilst employers are claiming the grant, they cannot make employees redundant, or put them on notice of redundancy.
Advice To Members
Whilst the scheme is a welcome move which will hopefully negate the need for redundancy in most, it’s clear that the scheme could lead to a number of problems such as:
- Employees being asked to work longer hours, despite knowing that their employers will be making claims under the Job Support Scheme (this would be clearly fraudulent).
- Problems or inaccuracies when calculating pay; the scope for problems here is obvious due to the complexity of the scheme.
- Employee who work 33% of their usual hours will end up receiving 78% of their normal wages (unless they are affected by the cap). How will the employer deal with the remaining 22% owed to the employee?
Whatever issues the Job Support Scheme throws up, our Advice Team will be here to help you 24 hours a day on 01234 716005 (choose Option 1). We’ll keep you informed of key developments as the Government produces further guidance on the scheme ahead of its launch.