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HMRC clarifies JSS rules

31 October: Ahead of its planned launch HMRC released detailed guidance on how the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will work. Following the Prime Minister's statement on the evening of 31 October, HMRC has confirmed that the JSS will not launch until the furlough scheme has closed.

Update: Following the Prime Minister's announcement of another national lockdown in England until the 1 December, the government has decided to extend the CJRS until 30 November and HMRC has confirmed that the JSS has been postponed until the closure of the furlough scheme.

The Chancellor unveiled the JSS as the replacement to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in his Winter Economic Update on 24 September, and it has already gone through several changes.

Not only has the level of support available changed in that time, staff only working 20% of their usual hours are now eligible and the employer' contributions is reduced significantly, but the scheme has also been split into two parts: JSS Open, supporting employers that remain open but are impacted by the pandemic; and JSS Closed, supporting organisations forced to close due to government measures.

The eagerly anticipated guidance provides greater clarity on:

  • Eligibility for both elements of the scheme.
  • Level of support available.
  • Information on how to make a claim, including specific rules for JSS Open and JSS Closed.
  • Details of what records need to be kept.
  • Additional rules for large companies.

The guidance includes a number of illustrations and calculators to help employers apply for the correct level of grant.

It also confirms that employers will be able to make claims under both parts of the scheme in one claim if they are forced to close during a claim period, which will be based on calendar months.

Read the HMRC guidance in full: