The Job Support Scheme (JSS) Open is available from 1 November 2020 for businesses that remain open but with employees working reduced hours. Employees must work at least 20% of their usual hours, paid as normal, in order to qualify for the JSS Open. The employee will then receive 66.67% of their normal pay for hours not worked. Employees will therefore forego one-third of their pay for the hours that they have not been working.
The contribution for hours not worked will be made up of contributions from the employer and government. The government will fund up to 61.67% of wages for hours not worked per employee whilst the employer will fund a further 5%.
The JSS Open is available to all small and medium-sized businesses, but larger businesses have to meet a financial impact test to demonstrate that their turnover has fallen as a result of the pandemic.
A large employer is defined for this purpose as a legal entity with 250 or more employees across their payrolls on 23 September 2020. If the employer’s turnover has remained equal or has decreased compared to the previous year, then they will qualify. This test only needs to be taken once before the employer’s first claim for the Job Support Scheme.
Large employers who are VAT registered and submit quarterly VAT returns should compare the total sales figure on their VAT return, which is due to be filed and paid between 31 August 2020 and 7 November 2020, with the total sales figure from the same quarter in 2019. There are similar measures for employers who submit VAT returns on different staggers. Further guidance is expected to be published shortly for large employers who are not VAT registered.
Any charity with 250 or more employees that is registered with a UK charity regulator or are exempt from such registration is not required to carry out the test and will be considered eligible for the scheme.