The Job Support Scheme – your top questions answered!

27th Oct 2020
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Sage recently ran a Job Support Scheme panel webinar where we had over 800 accountants and bookkeepers listening to the latest updates from HMRC, ACCA as well as AdviserPlus.  

We had lots of questions on the day and we have shared them below: 

The Job Support Scheme comprises of two wage support schemes – a scheme to support businesses legally required to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions and a scheme to support businesses that can stay open but are facing decreased demands.  

These FAQs cover eligibility, how you will be able top up your employees pay and what are the minimum number of hours an employee needs to work.  

Are Director only companies (and directors in general) eligible under the JSS? 

Yes - as long as they are carrying our PAYE'd work they qualify for JSS open or closed but can only claim for the income they draw via the PAYE payroll. 

Can Employees on JSS be made redundant? 

No, however it's not yet clear if they can be within the consultation period of a redundancy. We'll update this guidance as soon as we have more information.  

Are employers allowed to voluntarily top-up their employee's pay so they don't lose the unpaid hours they would otherwise sacrifice? 

Yes. On the JSS (Open), the you (the employer) pays 5% of reference salary for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, with the discretion to pay more than this if they wish. 

On the JSS (Closed), each employee who can't work due to these restrictions will receive two thirds of their normal pay, paid by you and fully funded by the Government, to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month, although you have the discretion to pay more than this if you wish. 

Do I need to inform my staff that they're on the JSS and is there any requirement to confirm in writing? 

Yes, all changes to working hours must be agreed in writing with employees before you can claim under JSS (Open). HMRC can ask to see the written agreements to short working hours. 

Can I claim in advance? 

No, claims are made in arrears. View HMRC's guidance on claiming >

Could we put an employee on normal hours for one week of the month and the other three at reduced hours? 

Yes, the minimum period for a JSS claim is seven consecutive days.   

Can a business that's allowed to remain open but has closed as they have no trade, for example events companies, claim under JSS? 

If the business was forced to closed due to local COVID-19 requirements imposed by one of the four UK governments, you can claim under JSS (Closed). If the businesses could legally be open but there is no work this does not qualify under JSS as a minimum work hours of 20% is required.  

If a new business has been set up but not submitted a full payment submission (FPS) before 1 October 2020 and now needs to close because of local restrictions, can they use the JSS? 

No, the rules require a Real Time Information (RTI) submission with employees to be submitted by 23rd September. 

Can I claim JSS (Open) for part of a month and JSS (Closed) for the remainder? 

Yes. If the period of JSS (Open) is a minimum of seven consecutive days then it qualifies as a claim, the JSS (Closed) can then also be claimed. The only restriction is that an employer can't claim for the same employee on the same date under both the JSS (Open) and JSS (Closed) schemes.  

What will the reclaim process for JSS be? Can Agents (with a 64/8) submit? Can a 3rd party without a 64/8 submit on a client's behalf? 

Agents who are authorised to do PAYE online for employers will be able to claim on their behalf.   

 Register for a free demo 

Our Sage 50cloud Payroll experts are running live webinars. We'll be covering: 

  • An introduction to the Job Retention Scheme and Job Support Scheme. 
  • Moving from the Job Retention Scheme to the Job Support Scheme. 
  • How to calculate Job Support Scheme and considering costs. 
  • Processing Job Support Scheme payments in Sage 50cloud Payroll.