The Job Support Scheme

Please note, this guidance was withdrawn on November 1, 2020

The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on November 1, 2020, has been postponed as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until December.

To support individuals and businesses to deal with the challenges created by coronavirus (COVID-19) during this winter (2020 to 2021), the Government is providing additional support to help employers retain their employees through the Job Support Scheme (JSS) .

The Job Support Scheme falls into two elements – JSS Open and JSS Closed. The former is more likely to be of relevance to PGA Members who employ staff or are themselves employed in their own limited company. It’s important to note that the Scheme doesn’t differentiate between the tiers or levels set out by Governments in the four countries of the United Kingdom, but rather the nature of the business and whether it is legally required to close.

JSS Open

The idea of this Job Support Scheme is to protect jobs in businesses which can operate safely but are facing a lower demand in the winter months due to COVID19.

To be eligible, employers must be enrolled for PAYE Online and have a UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man bank account. They must be facing decreased demand and have employees working shorter hours rather than make them redundant. 

The Scheme is open to every employer who meets the eligibility criteria, no matter what tier or level they are in. Employers are also eligible even if they did not previously use the furlough scheme. The Scheme will run for six months from November 1st, 2020. Employees must have been on the payroll on or before September 23rd, 2020 and the gov.uk online portal for processing claims will be available from December 8th 2020. Grants will be paid monthly in arrears. Employers need to agree the terms of the short term working arrangements in writing with employees, and the minimum short term working time is seven days.

This might be an attractive option for some Members since employees now only need to work for 20 per cent of their contracted hours, with the employer obliged to pay a further 5 per cent of hours not worked (capped at £125 per month), while the Government pays a further 61.67 per cent of the hours not worked (capped at £1,541.75 per month). The employee would therefore receive 73 per cent of their normal income, which the employer has the option of topping up. If the employer doesn’t top up, the employee would still lose 33 per cent of unworked hours.

JSS Closed

This support covers businesses which are legally required to close. For example, pubs in a Tier 2 location in England and which do not serve food can stay open, so might qualify for JSS Open, but those in Tier 3 would need to close so could qualify for JSS Closed.

This support may be relevant to PGA Members who are general managers of clubs which are required to close, e.g. in Wales where golf is shut down and bars, restaurants and most shops must close.

The JSS Closed grant may also be available to pro shops in Wales, where non-essential retail will be closed until at least November 9th (JSS Closed grant commences on 1 November). Should the pro shop be able to open after November 9th, the business will probably be adversely affected by the lack of footfall, so a PGA Member in such circumstances would then be able to claim JSS Open in relation to employees working reduced hours. For JSS Closed grant funding, the employer does not have to make a contribution and the government meets 67 per cent of an employee’s salary.

In summary, the JSS Open grant is likely to apply to PGA Professionals who employ staff and whose business is suffering lower demand due to coronavirus. Things that might impact on sales include, for example, golf being closed down, travel restrictions meaning fewer golfers making the journey etc. The staff would need to be working reduced hours of a minimum of 20 per cent their normal hours.

The JSS Closed grant is likely to be available, for example, to PGA Members in Wales where non-essential retail has been closed.​

CLICK HERE to find out more about the Job Support Scheme.

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