Job Support Scheme

The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on 1 November 2020, has been withdrawn.

If you require additional support to help retain your employees because you are experiencing reduced business activity due to coronavirus (COVID-19) , then from 1 November 2020 you can agree a Job Support Scheme temporary working agreement with any eligible employees. From 8 December 2020 onwards, each month you will be able to claim a scheme grant in arrears to cover some of their usual wage costs for hours not worked in the prior month.

If you intend to claim then you should continue to pay your employees on their contractual payment date. You must not delay payment of wages to your employees until you have received your grant payment, doing so will make you ineligible to claim.

Who can claim

You’ll be able to claim through the Job Support Scheme if you are experiencing reduced business activity due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and you have:

  • created and started using a UK PAYE scheme on or before 23 September 2020
  • enrolled for PAYE online
  • a UK, Channel Island or Isle of Man bank account

You’ll need to check which type of support you are eligible for and check which employees you can claim for.

When you make your claim, you may be asked to confirm that you are experiencing reduced business activity due to coronavirus.

You do not need to have previously claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to claim the Job Support Scheme.

If you make a claim for an employee through the Job Support Scheme then you can still claim the Job Retention Bonus for that employee provided that you meet the eligibility criteria. Payments received by employees through the Job Support Scheme can be included when determining if your employees have been paid at least the Job Retention Bonus minimum income threshold.

If you receive public funding

If you have staff costs that are publicly funded (even if you’re not in the public sector), you should use that money to continue paying your staff, and not use the Job Support Scheme.

You can use the scheme if your organisation is not fully funded by public grants and you should contact your sponsor department or respective administration for further guidance.

If you do claim, you should do so using the same process as all other employers.

If you’re an administer

If you’re an Insolvency Practitioner undertaking management of a company, then you will be able to access the Job Support Scheme. However, we would expect an administrator would only access the scheme if there is a reasonable likelihood of retaining the workers. This could be where a business is in administration and is likely to be sold as an ongoing business.

Shareholder distributions

The government expects large employers (those with 250 or more employees) and their corporate groups using the Job Support Scheme will not make capital distributions while accessing the grant. This includes any dividend, charge, fee or other distribution or, if it is a partnership, any equivalent payment to its partners.

This expectation is not a contractual or legal condition of the scheme. Employers are encouraged to reflect on their responsibilities and the fact that taxpayers should be able to rely on public money only being claimed where it is needed.