More details of the job-support scheme are emerging as we approach the opening of the scheme on 1 November 2020. The Treasury Direction (which will contain the details of the scheme) have not yet been published. However, the UK Government have now published a policy paper on the scheme, and more details are expected before the end of the month.
The schemes will now be known as JSS Open (the scheme for eligible business which remain open), and JSS Closed (for those businesses which have been legally required to close by one or more of the four governments of the UK).
Importantly the policy paper makes it clear that under both schemes it is expected that there will be a written agreement in place with the employees in respect of whom grants are being claimed. Please contact our Employment team who can assist with providing appropriate agreements.
We will all also have heard the recent news reports about the extent of fraudulent claims which it is believed have been made under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme). The latest guidance has made it clear that under these new schemes, as well as repaying any over-payments, “The full amount of any grant must be repaid if a claim is found to be fraudulent. Penalties of up to 100% of the amount overclaimed may be applied where appropriate. HMRC will consider publishing the details of employers who are charged a penalty because of a deliberately incorrect Job Support Scheme grant claim”. It is therefore important that employers are careful to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria for the schemes.
Employers claiming under the new schemes should also be aware that HMRC intend to publish the names of employers who have used the scheme.
There are still many questions about the scheme which remain unanswered and, as with the Furlough Scheme, the devil will be in the detail of the Treasury Direction when that is available. We will provide further information of the scheme as details are announced, and keep a look out for our up-coming webinar on the new schemes.