What you need to know about the Job Support Scheme


On the 31st of October the government furlough scheme, which has supported almost 10 million people through the Covid-19 pandemic, will come to an end. In its place, from November 1st, will be the new Job Support Scheme  – but what does this mean for those still unable to go back to work as normal? If you’re one of those affected, we’re here to help you out with a quick guide to what you need to know about the scheme.

What is the Job Support Scheme?

The Scheme is essentially the government’s new support plan for businesses struggling to pay their employees due to Covid-19. Rather than extend the current furlough scheme, the new system focuses on what the government views as “viable jobs”. In other words, jobs that people can still work in but may have had their hours reduced due to a fall in demand for the organisation’s goods or services.

However, as more local lockdowns have been imposed and are likely to continue into the winter months, the scheme has been expanded to include extra support for businesses such as restaurants and bars that must close in line with the restrictions in their area.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the expanded part of the scheme, your place of work must be legally closed due to restrictions.

For both parts of the scheme, all UK businesses can apply even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme. You must have been on the company’s PAYE payroll on or before September 23, 2020, to be eligible, and the scheme does include those who are on zero-hours contracts or who work irregular hours. Calculations for those people are due to be published soon.

How long will the scheme last?

The scheme launches on November 1st and is scheduled to run for 6 months. This will be reviewed by the government in January 2021.

If your employer enrolls you on the scheme, you don’t have to stay on it for the full 6 months. It’s been designed so that employers can use the scheme in cycles as and when they need it. So if your work is busier one month but quiet the next, you’ll be able to use the scheme during the quiet time but work normally during busy periods if your employer is able to cover your salary. However, each cycle must be at least 7 days long, so you’ll have to have the same working pattern during that week.

How much will I get paid from the scheme?

If your place of work is forced to close due to national or local restrictions and you can’t work, your employer can claim a grant which covers two-thirds of you and your colleague’s salaries up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

If your place of work can remain open but you’re not able to work your full normal working hours, the government will still offer support. To be eligible, you’ll need to be working a minimum of a third of your normal working hours which will be paid in full by your employer. Your remaining hours that are not worked will be spilt in 3 – the government will pay for a third, capped at £697.92 per month, your employer will pay another third and the final third will be unpaid.

For example, if you normally earn £1,500 a month and you work a third of your hours, you will earn £500 from those hours. The government and your employer will pay £333.33 (a third of the remaining £1000) each, giving you a total of £1166.66.

This means you’ll be paid a maximum of 77% of your usual monthly salary, however, you could receive more if you can work more than a third of your hours but you could also receive less if you are affected by the pay cap.

Will the scheme cover my pension contributions?

The scheme doesn’t cover any pension or National Insurance contributions, these remain the responsibility of your employer.

Can I be made redundant if I’m on the scheme?

No, you won’t be made redundant whilst on the scheme. The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has recently announced that no redundancy notices can be issued to workers on the Job Support Scheme while it is running.


If you’re worried about your job security and are thinking of looking for a new job, you can see all the latest vacancies at jobs24.com.

Posted on October 22, 2020