What is the Government’s new Job Support Scheme and what does it mean for me?
With the furlough scheme coming to an end later this month, we take a look at the Government’s new Job Support Scheme; when it starts, how it works, and what it might mean for you.
What is the Job Support Scheme?
Now that the Job Retention Scheme – more commonly known as the furlough scheme – is wrapping up, the Government is rolling out a new scheme to support the many thousands of people across the UK whose jobs remain impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Job Support Scheme is based on the German Government’s system of wage subsidies. It aims to provide support to people who are currently relying on the furlough scheme, given that furlough will end on October 31st.
When will the Job Support Scheme come into effect?
The Job Support Scheme will come into effect on November 1st 2020, taking over from the furlough scheme, which will conclude at the end of October.
The Job Support Scheme is open to any employee who meets the criteria, so you do not necessarily have to have been on the furlough scheme to qualify for the Job Support Scheme.
How will the Job Support Scheme work?
In the simplest form, the Job Support Scheme will see the Government contribute towards the wages of workers who are working less hours than they normally would, due to the pandemic.
As long as you work at least one third of your regular hours, the Government and your employer will each pay a third of the hours you have been unable to work. So if you work 33% of your regular hours, under the Job Support Scheme you will be paid 77% of your usual wage.
The contribution from the Government will be capped at a maximum of £697.92 per month, and all small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) will automatically be eligible. Larger businesses will also be eligible if their turnover has been directly harmed by the pandemic.
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How long will the Job Support Scheme be running?
The Job Support Scheme will run for six months from November 1st, in the hope that it will see people through the worst of the pandemic while still being able to earn enough money to live off.
Given that the furlough scheme was initially designed to run until August this year and was subsequently extended for two months, it is possible that the Job Retention Scheme could also be extended, but there is no evidence of that at this stage.
Will I be covered by the Job Support Scheme?
To be eligible for support under the Job Support Scheme, you must:
- Have been on your employer’s PAYE payroll since at least September 23rd 2020
- Not be on a redundancy notice (the scheme is designed to encourage businesses to retain their staff)
- Work at least 33% of your regular hours for the first three months of the scheme (until the end of January 2021)
- Be employed by a small or medium-sized business (SME), or a large business who can show that their turnover has fallen by at least a third due to the coronavirus pandemic
You do not have to work to the same shift patterns every month to qualify for the Job Support Scheme, as employees will be able to cycle on and off of the scheme in line with businesses’ requirements.
From a company perspective, the scheme is open to any employer who has a UK bank account and contributes to PAYE.
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How much will I earn under the Job Support Scheme?
The amount you earn from the Job Support Scheme is based around the hours you are unable to work, due to a decrease in demand in your industry caused by the pandemic.
For every hour (of your total regular hours) that you don’t work, your employee and the government will each pay 33% of your regular wage, with the Government’s grant capped at a maximum of £697.92 per month.
Let’s say you would normally earn £1,000 per month in a job where you work 120 hours, but coronavirus restrictions have meant you have only been able to work 50% of those hours. Under the Job Retention Scheme, you would:
- Earn £500 per month on your own (50% of your normal wage)
- Be given £166.50 by your employer (33% of your normal wage)
- Get another £166.50 from the Government (33% of your normal wage)
- Earn a total of £833 for the month
For more information on the Job Support Scheme and what it will mean for your income, have a look at the Government JSS fact sheet.
What will the Job Support Scheme mean for me if I’m in debt?
Struggling with debt is hard enough in normal circumstances, but during a global pandemic, with coronavirus restrictions stopping many people from earning, problem debt can be a millstone around your neck.
Across the UK, debt problems that had been building up throughout lockdown are now coming to bear. With the furlough scheme ending this month, and bailiffs put back to work on collecting debts, you can’t afford to delay dealing with your debt any longer.
Creditfix has supported thousands of people struggling with their finances during the coronavirus pandemic, and has helped hundreds of thousands of people put their problem debt behind them for good.
Our expert debt advisors are here to listen, offer support, and help you find the debt solution that’s right for you.