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Numeric Accounting has offices in Salisbury, Wiltshire & in Dibden (near Hythe) in Hampshire. We offer a full range of professional accountancy services to businesses across the UK.


Job Support Scheme – FAQs for Employers

Job Support Scheme – FAQs for Employers

This blog will be updated as more information becomes available

On 24th September 2020 the government announced that the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will effectively replace the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from 1st November 2020 until 30th April 2021.

The deadline for CJRS claim submissions for periods from 1st July to 31st October 2020 is 30th November.

  1. Is my business eligible?
  • SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises) with a UK bank account and open PAYE scheme are eligible automatically. Large companies will be means tested.
  • Employees are eligible to be placed on the scheme if their details were on a Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC notifying them of payment to that employee by 23rd September 2020.
  • You do not need to have previously furloughed the employees.
  1. How does it work?
  • The employer must calculate the employee’s usual hours in a pay period.
  • The employee must work at least one third of their usual hours and be paid their normal contractual wage for the hours worked.
  • The employer will work out the usual hours not worked and must top up the pay by one third of the hours not worked. We do not know if the employer will be permitted to top up more.
  • The government will top up the pay by a further one third of the hours not worked. This contribution is capped at £697.92 of their gross wage per month.  This must be paid to the employee.  It is unclear if this cap is reduced proportionally if the employee works more than one third of their usual hours.
  • Grants do not cover Employer’s National Insurance or Employer’s Pension Contributions. The employer must still pay their Employer’s NI and Pension Contributions and therefore it appears that the employer must pay these in respect of both the employer’s and government top-ups.
  1. How do I claim?
  • Employers will be able to make a claim online through gov.uk from December 2020. This will be paid on a monthly basis.
  • Grants will be payable in arrears meaning that a claim can only be submitted in respect of a given pay period, after payment to the employee has been made and that payment has been reported to HMRC via an RTI submission.
  1. Will Numeric Accounting make the claims on my behalf?
  • The government have not indicated that claims can be made by an agent, but we expect that the answer to this question will be yes.
  • There will be a fee for making the claims on your behalf which we will agree with you in advance once we know more from HMRC about the amount of work we will have to do.
  • If we do your payroll for you and you are using the scheme, we may ask for more information than usual so that we can do the calculation on your behalf.
  1. Will I still be eligible for the Job Retention Bonus if I use the JSS?
  • Yes, so long as the employee was furloughed and you were eligible to make a claim for that employee, you kept them employed until at least 31st January 2021, they were not serving notice during this time and they were paid on average at least £520 per month between 6th November 2020 and 5th February 2021 (minimum £1,560 for the three month period).
  • If these criteria are met, you can claim £1,000 per eligible employee between 15th February 2020 and 31st March 2021. This does not have to be paid to the employee.
  1. Can I make employees redundant who are on the Job Support Scheme?
  • No. Neither can they be put on notice of redundancy or be made redundant during the period within which you are claiming.
  • It appears that in order to make an employee redundant who is on the scheme, they must first be taken off the scheme, then put on notice or made redundant and paid in lieu of notice.
  1. So, what planning measures do I need to take?
  • This will vary from business to business, but here are some general pointers.
  • Cash flow is important as you cannot claim in advance.
  • First you should look at what the work force capacity is and what their current workload is. If there is not enough work for all employees, you may need to make use of the JSS.
  • Second, calculate the usual hours for each employee. More information on how to do this will be available soon, but it will not be unlike the calculation for the CJRS.
  • Next, look at what hours your staff are working and any they are not. Remember that you need to top up wages by one third of hours not worked.  So you will need to calculate whether you can afford this over a six month period.  Holiday and sickness rules have not been provided, so this may impact your calculation e.g. if you have to fully top-up paid holiday leave.
  • Note that the more hours an employee works, the less you have to pay them in topped up salary in terms of cash. Proportionally you will always top-up by 1/3 of usual hours not worked
  • If you cannot afford to use the scheme, you may need to consider making employees redundant. Again you will need to calculate the cost of this as it may be more expensive than keeping employees on and topping up their wages.
  • Part of the consideration as to whether you can afford to do this will be based on current turnover levels, what other costs may need to be cut, which debtors need to be chased in, and which payments to creditors can be delayed or deferred and whether dividend payments need to be made.
  • If you require our assistance with planning for the Job Support Scheme, we will be happy to help. Fees will be charged on a case by case basis depending on the amount of work required.
  1. Anything else I should consider?
  • Putting an employee on this scheme will require the employee’s agreement and that agreement must be provided to the employee in writing.
  • From the employee’s point of view, this may be favourable to being made redundant.
  • As with redundancy or furlough, you must consider whether by placing somebody on the scheme you are directly or indirectly discriminating against that employee.
  • If neither the scheme nor redundancy are financially viable options, or if you can’t guarantee one third of usual hours every week, you may be able to reduce an employee’s hours if they agree to it and forgo use of the scheme. You can always join the scheme later.
  • After 3 months, the government will consider whether to increase the minimum hours threshold.

Job Support Scheme Expansion for Closed Business Premises

09. If there’s an outbreak in my workplace and I’m forced to close my business temporarily by a local health authority, is my business eligible for the expansion?

• No.

10. So who is eligible for the expanded scheme?

• The same eligibility criteria stated above will apply with additional criteria set out below.
• For the expansion you must have been legally required to close your premises as a result of restrictions imposed by one or more of the four UK governments. This includes business premises restricted to collection or delivery only services from their premises.
• You must be instructed to cease work for a minimum period of 7 consecutive days and you need to have followed those instructions.
• It is currently unclear as to whether large businesses forced to close will be eligible for the expanded scheme.
• Employees working from home are not eligible under the expanded scheme. However, if they are working from home and working reduced hours per the basic scheme, they may still be eligible.

11. What’s different?

• Instead of being paid as detailed above, you will receive per employee up to two-thirds of that employee’s gross pay capped to a maximum of £2,100. You may top-up the pay if you wish. This does not mean that the wages can be topped-up under the basic scheme.
• When premises re-open you will revert or convert to the basic scheme.

 


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