Job Support Scheme Open – what are ‘usual hours’?

*Update* On Thursday 5th November 2030, the UK government confirmed a further extension of CJRS until the end of March 2021 the JSS introduction is delayed.

There are different calculations for working out ‘usual hours’:

Fixed hours

For those whose pay does not vary usual hours are calculated based upon the greater of:

  • hours contracted at the end of the last full pay period ending on or before 23 September 2020
  • hours contracted at the end of the last full pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020, this may be the same number of hours calculated under the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme.

This should include hours paid as annual leave and statutory leave.

Variable hours

Applies if either:

  • not contracted to fixed hours
  • pay depends on the number of hours worked

The number of usual hours is calculated based on the higher of:

  • number of hours worked in the same calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • average number of hours worked in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • average number of hours worked from 1 February 2020 (or the employee’s start date if later) until 23 September 2020

This should include hours paid as annual leave and statutory leave.

Change of hours

The calculation of usual hours is not and

Flexible work arrangements

Employers should:

  • not count as hours worked any hours that the employee worked but was not paid for because they accrued paid time off which they could take later
  • count as hours worked any hours that the employee took as paid time off (‘flexi-leave’), which they had accrued by working additional hours at some other time

Piece rate work

Employees paid per task or per piece of work done whose hours cannot be calculated in this way, hours can be estimated based on the number of ‘pieces’ produced and the average rate of work per hour, as per National Minimum Wage rules.

Prepare

If you are intending on utilising JSS, you need to:

  • Assess the workforce to judge qualifying requirements avoiding discrimination
  • Put in place suitable written agreements with employees
  • Obtain payroll information to assess ‘reference salary’
  • Obtain time records to assess ‘usual hours’

PAYadvice.UK 29/10/2020 updated 6/11/2020

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