16 October 2020 – Extended Job Support Scheme, ‘JSS Closed’ (for employers required to temporarily cease trading.)
(Article updated 23rd October)
Earlier in October the Chancellor announced the arrival of the extension to the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which will apply from 1st November for 6 months and is now to be known as ‘JSS Closed’.
The JSS Closed is available to employers that are legally required to close their premises due to local or national COVID-19 restrictions, meaning that their employees have no work to do. This will apply to nightclubs for example.
The scheme differs from JSS Open, which will also apply from 1st November (we covered the details in our earlier article), and under which employees must work and be paid normally for at least 20% of their normal hours.
The rules, again as far as we know them, for JSS Closed:
- Employees cannot undertake any work for their employer for at least 7 consecutive days – this must be directly due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions, forcing their employer to temporarily close their premises.
- The government will pay two thirds of eligible employees’ normal pay up to £2,100 per month.
- The employer must cover employer NICs and auto enrolment pension contributions.
- Employers may top up pay if they wish.
- Employees must not be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy for the period of the extended JSS being claimed.
- To be eligible employees must have been in employment with the employer and an RTI submission must have been sent to HMRC or before 23 September 2020.
- HMRC will publish the names of employers who use the scheme.
New shielding guidance
In other COVID-related news this week the shielding guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable has been updated clarifying that people in this group should continue to go to work if they can’t work from home, unless they live or work in an area categorised as extremely high risk and have received a new shielding letter.
Window for voluntary employer declarations of mistaken claims closed 20th October
Lastly, employers had until 20th October to notify HMRC of any CJRS overpayments claimed. HMRC is in the process of writing to 24,000 employees who received furlough payments to check whether they met the criteria. Once the voluntary window for declaring overpayments has closed, we expect HMRC will commence recovery proceedings against those employers they believe overclaimed or inappropriately claimed on the scheme, and the worst offenders are likely to face fines in addition to back payment demands.
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