AS the UK prepares to go into lockdown from November 5, the government has announced that the furlough scheme will be extended.
That means that the Job Support Scheme that was supposed to come into force from today has now been postponed.
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Here’s everything you need to know:
When does the Job Support Scheme start?
The Job Support Scheme has been postponed as the government is extending its furlough scheme throughout lockdown.
At the moment, the furlough scheme is expected to come to an end in December.
The government has not confirmed that the Job Support Scheme will immediately kick in, though it is likely it that it will come into force when furlough closes.
If furlough is extended further, the Job Support Scheme is likely to be put back further.
Originally, the plan was for the scheme to run for six months, but it is not clear if this is likely to change due to coronavirus.
What is the Job Support Scheme?
The Job Support Scheme is designed to help employers keep their staff employed and avoid redundancies throughout the pandemic.
Businesses may be eligible if they have to reduce workers’ hours because of coronavirus or if they legally have to close because of lockdown restrictions.
Who can be put on the scheme?
Any employees can be put on the Job Support Scheme, whether they work full- or part-time.
This includes the following types of staff:
- Agency workers
- Those on zero-hours contracts
Before you can be put on the scheme your employer needs your written agreement or a collective agreement with your trade union.
You don’t need to have been furloughed in the past to be eligible.
Some, or all, of a business’ employees must be working at least 20% of normal hours in order to be eligible for the scheme.
Your company may also have to pass a financial impact test to show how their turnover has been reduced by coronavirus.
But this test only applies for companies with more than 250 staff.
How much will I be paid on the JSS?
How much you’ll be paid depends on why your employer is on the scheme.#
If your employer legally has to close because of lockdown restrictions:
- the government will pay two-thirds of each worker’s salary, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 a month
- your employers will need to pay your National Insurance and pension contributions.
Your company can choose to top up your wages, but it doesn’t have to.
If your company remains open but has to reduce staff ours because of the effects of the virus, you’ll still get two-thirds of your pay for unworked hours.
However, the funding rules are slightly different as your employer can claim only 61.67% of wages, up to £1,541.75 per month and must pay the remaining 5% themselves.
You will also receive full pay for any hours you do work.
What work can I do when I’m on the JSS?
If you are put on the Job Support Scheme because the business has to close then you can’t do any tasks that make money for your employer or a related organisation.
You also cannot provide a service for your employer while you are on the scheme.
But you can do volunteer work, as long as it’s for another employer or organisation.
You’re also allowed to do training to keep your skills and learning up to date, but it must be paid for by your employer at full normal pay.
If you are put on the Job Support Scheme for a business that is open, then you are allowed to work your agreed hours or do training and get full working pay.
However, you cannot do any company work during the hours that are paid for by the scheme.
Here’s the full details of the extended furlough scheme – including how much you will be paid and who is eligible.
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