Update – all change – Government increases support for jobs and workers hit by Covid restrictions

28th October 2020

Last week, Rishi Sunak announced yet further changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) which was set to replace furlough in November.The latest announcement will bring more flexibility to the JSS and reduce costs to employers for employees working fewer hours due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The key differences to the previously announced original plan are as follows:

  • the employer contribution to the wage cost of unworked hours is reduced to 5%, and
  • the minimum number of hours the employee will have to work is reduced to 20%, rather than 33%, so for full time employees those working just one day a week will now be eligible.

The original plan for the scheme would have meant employers paying one third of their employees’ wages for their hours not worked, as well as normal wages for the time actually worked, making the overall cost of retaining staff on part-time hours prohibitive for many businesses.

The Job Support Scheme for businesses legally required to close, remains unchanged.

Rishi Sunak has also made changes to the support of the self-employed with the third SEISS grant now being based on 40% of average trading profits (not the previously announced 20%) and will be capped at £3,750.  Businesses temporarily unable to trade due to coronavirus were to be excluded from claiming the third and fourth grants but will now be eligible.