October 22nd, 2020 / Insight posted in

JSS expansion for closed business premises

What is the JSS expansion?

The JSS will be expanded in order to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of Coronavirus restrictions set by the UK government. The expansion scheme will support businesses throughout the period that they are affected by these restrictions, with wage costs for those employees whose place of work has been forced to close.

How long is the JSS expansion available for?

Initially for six months, with effect from 1 November 2020. The scheme will be further reviewed in January 2021.

Is my business eligible?

In addition to the eligibility criteria for the JSS, set out above, the government has confirmed that the JSS expansion will only be available for businesses that have been legally required to close their premises as a direct result of the UK government restrictions in place at that time. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection-only services from their premises.

Which employees are eligible?

You can only claim for:

  • employees who meet the criteria for the JSS as set out above.
  • employees who are working 0% of their contractual hours and are not carrying out any work on behalf of the business from other premises for a period in which you are claiming the grant for.
  • employees who have been instructed to cease work for a minimum of seven consecutive days (an employee can return to work at a later date).

How much will the scheme cover?

The scheme will offer you a grant to cover wage costs, which will be calculated on the number of eligible employees you have (those who have been instructed to cease work due to the workplace premises closing). The government will pay two-thirds of eligible employees’ usual contractual pay, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month.

Does the JSS expansion cover employer NI and pension contributions?

No, the employer will remain responsible for paying NI and pension contributions in full.

Do I have to top up employees’ pay?

No, you will not be required to top up or make any further contribution to wage costs, unless you choose to do so.

What happens when the premises are legally allowed to reopen?

When the government confirms your business is safe to reopen, you will be entitled to go on to claim under the JSS if your business is still facing reduced demand.

How do I claim?

Employers will be able to make a claim on a monthly basis online through gov.uk with effect from December 2020 and this will be reviewed further in January 2020. Payments will be made in arrears, reimbursing the employer for the government’s contribution.

All other advice with regards to eligibility, notice, redundancies and fraudulent HMRC claims remain as set out in the main JSS advice above.