The UK Government has launched a new Job Support Scheme which will support employees’ wages for a period of up to six months and which comes into effect on 1 November. Devolved administrations are being given a total of £1.3 billion in additional funds to develop their own schemes.
Under the English scheme, companies will continue to pay employees for time worked, but the cost of hours not worked will be split between the employer, the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and employees will keep their job. It is important to note that businesses will only be eligible for the new Job Support Scheme if they are subject to restrictions and employees will need to be furloughed for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from a £1.3 billion increase to their guaranteed funding for 2020-21 – allowing them to continue their response to Covid-19 including through similar measures if they wish.
These measures sit alongside the original JSS – which is designed to support businesses that are facing low demand over the winter months – and the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus (JRB) which encourages employers to keep staff on payroll. RSUA will update members on any scheme announced which directly affects Northern Ireland.