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What to know about JSS Open and JSS Closed

The Job Support Scheme will now provide varying levels of support to businesses depending on whether they have had to close, due to legal restrictions set by the government – JSS Closed. Or where they continue to operate but face decreased demand due to the restrictions - JSS Open.
JSS Open & JSS Closed

There are two main levels, JSS Open (for Tiers 1 & 2) and JSS Closed (for businesses forced to close in Tier 3).

JSS Open

The JSS Open will open on 1 November 2020 and will run for six months until 30 April 2021.

This scheme is relevant to the employees of business which remain open but are facing reduced demand and so, do not need their normal levels of staffing.

The key developments include:

  • Minimum hours worked – An employee will need to work at least 20% of their usual hours to qualify (rather than 1/3 as previously announced). However, as before, the employer will still pay their employees for the hours worked.
  • Hours not worked – The Government will pay 61.67% of the wages for hours not worked up to a maximum contribution of £1,541.75 p/m.
  • Contributions - The employer must contribute 5% of reference pay for the hours not worked up to a maximum of £125 p/m (Unless they choose to contribute more).
  • More generous than the original JSS (see blog) - The new announcements mean that as an employer, you will be contributing significantly less than previously announced for hours not worked.
  • How to Claim - Employers will be able to make a claim online through Gov.uk from 8 December 2020. Grant payments will be paid monthly, in arrears, reimbursing the employer for the Government’s contribution.

As an employee, you will receive at least 73% of your normal wage, where you earn £3,125.00 or less per month.

JSS Closed

JSS Closed is for those businesses who are required to close and who's employees cannot work at all for the employer.

Under the JSS Closed:

  • An employee who cannot work due to the coronavirus restrictions imposed will receive 66.67% of their normal pay
  • This will paid by their employer and fully funded by the government, to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month, although an employer has discretion to pay more than this if they wish.
  • The employee may also be entitled to further support in the form of universal credit if applicable.

The government has published a factsheet and a policy paper, which provide further details on both JSS Open and JSS Closed.

JSS grants count toward the Job Retention Bonus

Employers can get the £1,000 bonus for bringing a furloughed employee back to work in addition to claiming ongoing support for that employee under the JSS. To qualify for the bonus, the employee would need to remain continuously employed to the end of January 2021 and earn a minimum of £1,560 (gross) between 6 November and 5 February 2021. And the JSS grant can count towards that minimum income threshold.