By Ben Smith - 9 October 2020
Update 2 November: On 31 October the UK government announced that the furlough scheme would be extended until at least 2 December due to England entering a period of lockdown from 5 November with many businesses required to close. The furlough scheme will cover 80% of wages, but employers will need to pay National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions. The introduction of the JSS has been delayed until at least 2 December.
Today Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an expansion of the Job Support Scheme to include support for employees who work for UK firms which are required to close premises by law due to COVID-19 restrictions this winter. Under this new version of the Job Support Scheme, the government will reimburse eligible employers for two thirds of wage costs (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 per employee each month. Its format is similar to the original Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (commonly referred to as the furlough scheme) which is due to come to an end on 31 October.
Employers will not be required to contribute towards wage costs but will have to pay employer National Insurance Contributions and mandatory minimum employer pensions contributions. The Job Support Scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months. Further detailed guidance on eligibility and how to claim is expected in the coming weeks.
For details on the Job Support Scheme click here.