Coronavirus: Job Support Scheme

On 24 September 2020 the Government announced a Job Support Scheme (JSS) intended to incentivise shorter hours working and reduce the need for employers to make redundancies. The JSS will come into effect on 1 November 2020 and will run for a period of six months. The JSS will 'top up' employee wages where their working hours have been reduced due to lower demand. The JSS will only top up the wages of employees actually in work.SMEs across all sectors will be eligible to apply for grants under the JSS. However large businesses will need to demonstrate a reduction in turnover due to the impact of Coronavirus. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

How will the JSS work?

  • To be eligible for support under the JSS the employee must:
    • have been on the employer's payroll on or before 23 September 2020;
    • work at least 33% of their usual hours; and
    • have agreed reduced working hours with their employer.
  • The employer will pay the employee, as normal, for the hours worked.In respect of employee wages for the hours not worked:
    • the Government and the employer will each pay a third; and
    • the employee will need to agree a wage reduction in respect of the final third


  • In the examples above, an employee working:
    • 33% of their usual hours will receive 77% of their usual pay (55% from the employer).
    • 50% of their usual hours will receive 84% of their usual pay (67% from the employer).

The employer will also remain liable for employer national insurance and pension contributions. Employees cannot be made redundant or be put on notice of redundancy during the period in which their employer is claiming a grant under the JSS. Further guidance on the JSS is awaited. In the meantime, the Government factsheet provides some additional detail.

If you would like to talk through the consequences for your business, call our Coronavirus Helpline on 0330 134 0199 for a free consultation (on appropriate commercial enquiries only) or email us and one of our Helpline team will get in touch.


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.