Am I eligible for the job support scheme? How to apply for Rishi Sunak’s new plan

Linda J. Dodson

 Am I eligible for the wage subsidy scheme?

Anyone who was working as of yesterday is eligible. However, you must work at least one third of your normal contracted hours.

 Businesses that have not yet used the furlough scheme can also access the new scheme but not all companies will be able to apply.

The hardest hit, where turnover has fallen significantly as a result of the pandemic, will have priority as will small or medium sized businesses. Larger companies will have to show that their sales have been materially affected.

Will my company still pay me?

Yes, your company must pay you your full wage for the hours that you work. It will then have to contribute a top up of one third of the hours not worked alongside the Government in order to receive the subsidy. 

 How can I apply for the wage subsidy scheme?

It is unclear how employees can apply for the job support scheme. However, it is likely to follow a similar process as the furlough scheme where your employer contacts HM Revenue & Customs for a grant.

Employers are expected to have to designate the affected employees and notify the staff of this change.

What will happen to the furlough scheme?

The Job Retention scheme, known as furlough, will close as planned at the end of October. The Chancellor said furlough was a temporary fix but cannot be a long-term solution. Mr Sunak said it was “fundamentally wrong” to hold people in jobs that only exist because they are being propped up by furlough.

How long will it last?

The new scheme will replace the furlough support package from the beginning of November and will last for six months.

What if I was dismissed before the announcement?

Anyone who was employed as of yesterday will be able to apply for the new job support scheme. 

Labour MPs have criticised the Treasury of making the announcement too late for many employers which will have already let staff go ahead of a cliff-edge end to furlough. 

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