In The News

Coronavirus Update- Job Support Scheme (JSS) – JSS Closed and JSS Open

Article Date: 23 October 2020

In our blog yesterday, we referred you to a recent announcement by HMRC of the JSS that is to take effect from 1 November.

The essence of the scheme is that it offers a business support (for up to 6 months) to meet the cost of employee wages and costs where the business has been instructed to close and cease work by one or more of the four governments of the UK.

The principal rules as announced were;

  • Employees will be eligible to claim up to 2/3 of their normal pay (up to a £2,100 limit)
  • Employees cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the claim period
  • The employer will remain liable for employer NIC and pension contributions.

Today we can report than on 22 October HMRC announced that this arrangement would henceforth be known as the JSS Closed Scheme.

That is because on 22 October 2020 HMRC announced another JSS, which they titled JSS Open Scheme.

The link is highlighted below.

Job Support Scheme Open Factsheet

The Open scheme is designed to protect jobs where the business can operate safely but where the business faces lower demand because of COVID.

The principal rules as announced were;

  • Employee eligibility is restricted to those on payroll between 6 April 2019 and 23.59 on 23 September 2020
  • Employees to work and be paid for 20% of their normal hours
  • Employee 20% can be spent training 
  • Up to 2/3rd of salary to be paid for the remainder of normal working hours subject to HMRC paying 61.67% (capped at £1,541.75 per month) and employer 5% plus employers NIC and pension contributions
  • All employers eligible but large employers (250 employees or more) will have to meet an eligibility test

The scheme is to run from 1 November 2020 for 6 months with claims open from 8th December 2020.

Employee eligibility and employer claims using this scheme will not disable the employer from claiming the Job Retention Bonus of £1,000.


As I noted in yesterday’s blog, these are difficult times and confusing times.

The concept of both an Open and Closed scheme adds to the complexity but as motor dealerships faced with the complicated manufacturer sales bonus schemes, most of you reading this blog will wonder what is the fuss all about?

I wonder if at some point in time, if there were to be a national lockdown or circuit break, if the open scheme will be used at all; time will tell.

However, any form of support is welcome and most importantly of value to motor dealerships considering how to pilot the business over the coming months.

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