Among a whole host of support measures announced as the country – or large parts of it – is plunged into varying degrees of lockdown, the Jobs Support Scheme garnered the most headlines.


The JSS, as it soon became known, is Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s furlough #2 – a package of measures to support businesses through the continuing coronavirus pandemic, while easing some of the State’s financial burden.


So what is it for, how will it work and what do businesses need to do to qualify?


What is it?

The scheme is designed to support viable jobs in businesses that are facing lower demand over the Winter months – they key word here being ‘viable’. The Government has defined this as applying to any worker who is able to work at least a third of their usual, pre-Covid hours – in other (brutal) words, this is not aimed at firms who have no hopes of recovery.


It works by splitting the responsibility for lost wages costs between the State, the employer and the employee – although some argue that the burden falls more heavily on employers.


How does it work?

Let’s look at a hypothetical example to illustrate how the scheme works in practice.


An employee is able to work 50 per cent of their pre-Covid hours. Of the remaining 50 per cent, the Government will pay a third (up to a limit of £697.92), the employer will pay a third and the employee will forgo the remaining third.


Employers using the scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if eligible, and it is important to note that employees under the JSS are protected from redundancy during this time.


Who is eligible?

The JSS is open to all UK small and medium-sized businesses – they do not need to have accessed support previously.


Large businesses can also apply, but will be subject to financial assessment tests to confirm that their turnover is lower now, and that this is directly attributable to the impact of Covid-19.


Employees must be working at least 33 per cent of their usual hours, although they can cycle on and off the JSS as hours dictate. For those on variable hours, each short-time working arrangement must cover a minimum of seven days.


How to claim

The scheme opens on November 1st and last until April 2021. Employers can make a claim through the Government portal at from December.


Grants will be paid monthly and in arrears, meaning claims can only be made after the employee has been paid.


If you’d like to talk to us about what support you or your business may be eligible for, get in touch by calling 01642 244090 or emailing