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Changes to the Job Support Scheme - announced on 23 October 2020

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Today the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an update to the new Job Support Scheme (to be known as the 'Open' Scheme in order to distinguish it from the Scheme provided for businesses legally required to close).

The new support includes a reduction in the minimum hours required for employees to work, and a reduction in employer contributions for the Job Support Scheme.

The Job Support Scheme - what has changed?

In order to protect jobs within businesses which are still open but are experiencing lower demand,  the Job Support Scheme has been made more generous. Under the revised Scheme, employees will now take home at least 73% of  their pay (where usual wages do not exceed the reference salary of £3,125) for working a new minimum of 20% of their usual hours. 

Under the updated Scheme, the hours worked (as long as at least 20% of their usual hours) will be paid as normal, and for the remaining unworked hours:

  • the Government will now pay up to 61.67% (capped at £1541.75 pcm)
  • the employer contribution is cut from 33% to 5%
  • the remaining usual salary will be unpaid

As is the case with the Job Retention Scheme, employers must obtain written employee consent to place them on the Job Support Scheme.

Full details can be found on this Fact Sheet which was published alongside the announcement. 

For expert advice on all aspects of employment law, please contact James Hodgson or Maureen Cawthorn at our Halifax office on 01422 339600.

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