As a small group of SMEs ourselves we feel that we punch above our weight in terms of keeping up to date with the changes to Government legislation – not because we are experts, but because of our partner Croner https://croner.co.uk , who supports our business on all HR and Health & Safety matters, and keeps directors updated on everything relevant to them and the business.
The pace of change is increasing if anything, and Croner have suggested that we might share this explainer for the expansion of the Job Support Scheme with our clients, contacts and network.
There continues to be a lot at stake for both companies and business owners / directors – Clair Lewis at Croner expertly summarises here the issues at play:
“Updates for the JSS (Job Support Scheme) are now coming in thick and fast, and dare I say, there will be some SMEs out there, and people that you know / work / socialise with, who will be feeling quite confused by the latest update yesterday from Rishi Sunak, so I wanted to share this update with you all – where I’ve dissected the key points to note:
The Chancellor has announced an expansion to the Job Support Scheme in place from November 2020 for businesses who are legally required to close down in local or possibly further national lockdowns.
- The expansion will apply to all UK businesses and will run for 6 months (it will be reviewed in January 2021).
- The government will pay two thirds of employee wages (to a maximum of £2,100 a month) where they cannot work at all because the business has been told to close.
- Employers will not have to contribute towards actual wages but will have to cover national insurance contributions and pension contributions.
- Employees have to meet eligibility criteria including starting with the employer (and having been paid) on or before 23 September 2020.
- For employers to access the expansion, employees will need to be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
- Employers will receive the wages monthly in arrears.
- Businesses who are not legally required to close will not be able to use the JSS expansion; they will need to use the standard JSS which requires a third of working hours to be done in order to get wage help. If they can’t offer that much, or nothing at all, they will need to look at redundancies, unpaid leave etc etc.
This is now getting really complicated for employers; two different schemes running at exactly the same time, with different criteria, different amount of wage cover…
Do business owners understand all of the schemes available to help with both cash and avoiding redundancies? We’ve got:
- Job Retention Scheme – ends at the end of October and allows full furlough for 80% wage (20% employer contribution)
- Job Retention Bonus – payable from February 2021 to employers who bring employees back from furlough
- Job Support Scheme (standard) – provides up to 22% of Govt wage cover for employees who can work for a minimum of one third of their working hours; employees will get minimum 77% pay with employer paying for hours worked and a third of unworked hours
- Job Support Scheme (lockdown version) – Govt wage cover of 67% (two thirds) for employees who can do no work because employer legally required to close
We have a piece of software that ALL our clients get access to which allows them to EASILY track hours worked – of which I am doing demos’ of this periodically throughout the working week for people who need to see how something like this works.
This stage is now more confusing than back in March, right now, and business owners need the support more than they ever have. Tribunal Courts are meeting virtually and given the levels of conversations I’ve been having lately – my prediction of “breach of contract” will be hitting businesses unsuspectingly, because most of them won’t even realise they have been in breach of contract.”
We trust Croner to look after our businesses, and don’t hesitate to recommend them to do the same for you.
Please drop us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make an introduction for you – if nothing else that conversation will definitely leave you a lot better informed, but hopefully beyond that Croner can add a lot of value to your company.