The Chancellor confirmed the end of the furlough scheme stating that we must "adapt and evolve" and that it was fundamentally wrong to keep people in unviable jobs. He emphasised that the Job Support Scheme will directly support the wages of people in work and able to do some work, giving businesses who face depressed winter demand the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours rather than making them redundant but that it is not available for roles that cannot provide work set at a minimum level.
The government has published a factsheet providing further detail on the scheme, including information on who is eligible, what the grant covers, what it means to be on reduced hours, how to claim and some worked examples. Employers are also warned that HMRC will carry out checks on claims.
The headline details of the new scheme
- The scheme will be in place for a period of six months, starting on 1 November 2020.
- To be eligible employees must work a minimum of 33% of their hours and be paid 'as normal' by their employer.
- For the remaining hours not worked, the government and employer will pay 1/3 wages each.
- Employees working 33% of their hours will receive at least 77% of their pay.
- All SMEs are eligible and only larger businesses which have seen a drop in revenue as a result of COVID-19 will be eligible.
- To be eligible employees should not be on notice.