Scotland Endorses Chancellor’s Plan to Expand New Job Support Scheme

Added: 12th October 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on October 9 that the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) scheduled to take over from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on November 1, will be expanded to support continued employment for workers in businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary (pictured), has welcomed the expansion saying in a statement issued on October 10: “The extension of the Chancellor’s Job Support Scheme is welcome news for businesses across Scotland, providing a vital safety net for companies which are asked to close temporarily”.

Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work. Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and are only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions. However, it is estimated that around half of potential claims are likely not to incur employer NICs or auto-enrolment pension contributions and so face no employer contribution.

Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.

As the COVID-19 infection rate continues to rise in the UK, the Scottish Government has introduced its own temporary restrictions this month to try and curb the spread of the virus and minimise its impact on Scottish households and businesses. This includes dividing the country into a ‘central belt’ - defined as the health board regions of Lothian, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Ayrshire & Arran and Greater Glasgow & Clyde –and imposing a series of measures which vary for business operating within and outside it.

For more details on the Scottish restrictions and where, how and to whom they apply, Retra members can click HERE to download a detailed document issued by the Scottish Government. The measures are scheduled to last until Sunday October 25 (inclusive) pending review.

We’ll be publishing full details of the new Job Support Scheme on our website shortly.