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Jobs Support Scheme spells redundancies

Press Release:

With Furlough to end after October, a wave of job losses now seem inevitable, comments Rachel Lester of Axiom Stone Solicitors

Despite huge pressure from all sides of the political divide, from industry and the trade unions, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has resisted pleas to extend the Furlough scheme and, instead, announced its replacement with a Job Support Scheme.

Key features include:

  • The payment by employers for hours worked, with employees expected to work a minimum of 33% of their usual hours
  • For the hours not worked, the Government will pay a third of their usual pay up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third
  • Employees are able to earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages if the Government contribution is uncapped
  • Employers cannot give notice of redundancy to employees paid under the Scheme
  • The Scheme will run for 6 months from November

The attached Government factsheet gives more details on the eligibility criteria, the wages covered, how employers can claim and how HMRC will carry out checks.

Measures announced by the Chancellor in July will also continue to apply:

  • Businesses will be paid £1,000 for every furloughed member of staff brought back and continuously employed through to January 2021
  • There will be a “kickstart” job creation scheme for young people aged between 16 and 24 on Universal Credit under which Government will pay their wages for up to six months
  • Apprenticeships will be supported by bonuses for businesses, ranging from £1,500 to £2,000 for each apprentice taken on. Jobcentre work coach numbers will also be doubled

But to cries that the scheme doesn’t go far enough, it is, in fact, too late for employees who have already been made redundant. What is more, it now looks likely that far more redundancies will follow, particularly in the hospitality, beauty and leisure sectors where employers will simply be unable to offer employees a third of their usual hours. With job opportunities scarce in the face of the sharpest decline in the economy in generations, sadly mass unemployment now looks inevitable.