• Emily Gibson

Job Support Scheme

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

As the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has now been extended to the end of March 2021, the Job Support Scheme is currently on hold, following the governments latest announcement on 5th November 2020. The scheme has evolved since it was first announced in September, and whilst this article will give you an overview of the scheme, please bear in mind that, with the constantly changing legislation as we adjust to the pandemic, there are likely to be further changes.


It is hoped that two new Job Support Schemes will protect viable jobs within businesses struggling as a result of Covid-19 beyond the CJRS. for businesses that are still permitted to be open (JSS Open) and one for businesses that must close as a result of COVID restrictions, such as local lockdowns (JSS Closed).

Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.


Are You Eligible?

  • All employers with UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant.

  • Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

  • The scheme is available to those whose turnover is lower now than before experiencing difficulties from Covid-19, however there will be no financial assessment test for SMEs. 

  • Employees being claimed for must have been on your payroll by the 23rd September 2020. If employees ceased employment after the 23rd of September 2020, but were then rehired, employers can claim for them.

  • An individual is an employee for the purposes of this scheme if they are treated as an employee for Income Tax purposes.

  • Employees can be on any type of contract, including zero hours or temporary contracts.

Scheme Rules

Job Support Scheme (Open) This scheme is in place to support businesses that are operating but facing decreased demand, giving employers the option of keeping their employees in a job on shorter hours rather than making them redundant.

  • For the first three months of the scheme your employee must work at least 20% of their usual hours. After 3 months, the Government will consider whether to increase this minimum threshold.

  • For time not worked by each employee, the employer will be required to pay 5% (reduced from 33%) of the wages for 'unworked hours' (up to a cap of £125 pcm) and the government contribution will be up to 61.67% (increased from 33%) of wages for hours not worked (capped at £1,541.75 pcm).

  • Businesses must pay employees their contracted wages for hours worked, and both government and employer contributions for hours not worked. Grant payments will be reimbursed to the employer for the Government’s contribution.

  • All NICs and pension contributions will remain payable by the employer.

  • Employers may top up the payments at their discretion, if they wish.

  • Employees may be able to cycle on and off the scheme and do not have to be working the same pattern, but each short-time working arrangement must cover a minimum period of 7 days.

  • Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period within which their employer is claiming the grant for that employee.

  • Employees must agree to the new short-time working arrangements within the usual consultation process to make changes to the employment contract and this should be confirmed and agreed in writing.

Job Support Scheme (Closed) This scheme aims to support employers that have been legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by the government. It is hoped that by protecting employees in these circumstances, business will able to reopen as quickly as possible when legal restrictions are lifted.

  • Employees who cannot work due to these restrictions will receive 66% of their normal pay, paid by their employer and fully funded by the government, to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month. ​

  • Employers may top up the payments at their discretion, if they wish. 

  • Employees may still be entitled to additional financial support, including Universal Credit.


Please do keep an eye out for further updates as new information, following the delay of this scheme is likely to be provided in January 2021.

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