Rishi Sunak has this morning announced a “Job Support Scheme” that is designed to top up wages for employees, following the support provided by the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (known as the “furlough scheme”) which is due to come to an end on 31st October 2020.
The new Job Support Scheme will take effect from 1st November 2020, and run for a period of six months. It requires employees to work a minimum of 33% of their hours to be eligible for the scheme (however this minimum may be increased in months 4 – 6), and for the remaining hours not worked, the government and the employer will pay one third of that employee’s wages each.
Therefore, the government together with the employer, will increase those peoples’ wages covering two thirds of the pay they have lost by reducing their working hours meaning that an employee working 33% of their hours will receive at least 77% of their pay. The employer will be reimbursed in arrears for the government contribution. This is open to all employers across the United Kingdom, and there is no requirement to have previously used the furlough scheme.
There is no guidance as yet on how this will effect workers on zero hour contracts or variable hours, however, “usual wages” will likely be calculated in a similar way to the furlough scheme involving average hours being calculated.
There has also been an extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
The Treasury has now published a factsheet relating to the Jobs Support Scheme which can be accessed here.