A new job support program (JSS) is at the center of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new package of Covid-19 support measures.
The aim is to provide workers and businesses with a new financial lifeline as they prepare for a tough winter.
Mr Sunak announced the launch of the program today in a statement he made to Parliament in the House of Commons.
It is being introduced to replace the government vacation program that ends at the end October 31.
Here you can see when the scheme starts and how it works.
When will the system be implemented and how long will it take?
It will start on November 1st and run for six months.
For whom is that?
The program aims to protect viable jobs in companies that are currently experiencing less than normal demand. The aim is to keep people in the workforce even if they cannot work as usual.
How will the program work?
The state will contribute to the wages of workers who work fewer hours than normal.
Employers continue to pay employees’ wages for the hours they work. The government and the employer each pay one third of their respective wages for hours not worked.
This means that employees who can only work shorter working hours continue to receive two thirds of the working hours for the time in which they cannot work.
The government contribution is capped at £ 697.92 per month.
Employees must have at least a third (33%) of their normal working hours and receive at least 77% of their pay if the state contribution has not been limited.
The government contribution is subsequently reimbursed to the employers.
Who is eligible to participate?
The government has stressed that the program will only support viable jobs. The employee may not be dismissed.
Companies across the UK may be able to participate even if they have not yet taken advantage of the holiday program.
All small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are eligible. Large companies need to show that they have been affected by Covid-19.
The government believes that large employers will not make capital distributions such as dividends while using the system.
How much does the program cost?
This depends on the utilization but could potentially cost around £ 300 million per month for every million employees who participate in the program.
How was the reaction to the new measures?
Tom Selby, Senior Analyst at AJ Bell, said of the JSS program, “While this is less generous than the Vacation Program, it at least provides employee support and valuable help to companies most affected by lockdowns.”
Standard Life Foundation Chairman Mubin Haq welcomed the measures but said many people will still lack support, adding, “We urge the Chancellor to re-examine the safeguards and ensure that people are safe don’t fall through the cracks. “
Helen Barnard, director of the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said that where jobs really are not feasible, a “right to retraining” is required “so that entire areas and industries are not cut off in an upcoming storm”.