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Government announces Job Support Scheme to replace furlough from 1 November

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  Posted by: The Probe      25th September 2020

The government’s furlough scheme, brought in at the start of lockdown, has been a lifeline to many businesses and saved the livelihoods of millions. The furlough scheme comes to an end on 31 October and the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has revealed that the new Job Support Scheme will replace it.

The Job Support Scheme will initially run for six months from 1 November until 1 May 2021. It is designed to top up the salaries of staff that businesses are unable to bring back into full-time work. Employees must work at least one-third of their regular contracted hours to be eligible. The government and employer will each pay one-third of the remaining wages to the staff member, meaning the employee takes home at least 77% of their pay. While at the height of the furlough scheme, the government paid 80% of workers’ wages, under the new scheme it will pay a maximum of 22%.

The Job Support Scheme is available to small and medium-sized businesses (often defined as organisations with 250 employees or fewer). Large businesses are also eligible so long as they can prove their revenue has fallen as a result of the pandemic.

Employees must have been on the firm’s payroll since 23 September and they can be moved on and off the scheme, or work different hours. Each working arrangement must cover at least seven days.
Workers cannot be made redundant or put on notice while a Jobs Support Scheme grant is being claimed on their behalf and, as with the furlough scheme, employers will be reimbursed by the government after the work has been done.

In addition, to further minimise unemployment, the UK government will also give firms:

  • £1,000 for every furloughed employee kept on until at least the end of January
  • £1,500 for every unemployed 16-24 year-old given a ”high quality” six-month work placement
  • £2,000 for each under-25 apprentice taken on until the end of January, or £1,500 for over-25s

Michael Copeland, senior area manager at Practice Plan parent company Wesleyan, the specialist financial mutual for dentists, commented on what the new scheme might mean for dental practices: “The Chancellor’s new measures will be welcome news for dental practitioners, many of whom are struggling to recover from impact of  lockdown. The Job Support Scheme announced today could help practices avoid redundancies and protect vital patient care services. It could also provide a further incentive for practices to bring back furloughed staff– supporting the profession’s efforts to resume a wider range of services.

“Extensions to the repayment terms of Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans will also help practices as they can keep essential cash in their business for longer. Together, steps like these will support the sector’s ongoing recovery – so essential to the wider wellbeing of the nation.”


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