On the 8th of July 2020 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a new Job Retention Bonus as part of an extensive plan to support the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ending on the 31st of October 2020 and furloughed workers expected to return to work, on the 31st of July 2020 the first details of how the scheme would work emerged.
What is the Job Retention Bonus?
The bonus will be a one off payment of £1000 to employers for every employee who they had previously claimed for under the CJRS and remains continuously employed through to the 31st January 2021.
For employees to be eligible they must have earned at least £520 a month between 1st November 2020 and 31st January 2021.
They should also:
- Have been furloughed and had an eligible CJRS claim submitted
- Have been continuously employed from the time of the most recent claim to at least the 31st January 2021
- Have up to date RTI records for the period to January
- Not be serving a contractual or statutory notice that started before the 1st February 2021 for the claiming employer
When can employers claim & be paid?
Employers will be able to place a claim after they have filed PAYE for January, and Job Retention Bonus payments will be made from February 2021.
Where an employer (including recruitment agencies and umbrella companies) has claimed a grant for employees under the CJRS, a claim can be made.
They must have:
- Filed and paid PAYE accurately and on time under RIT
- Maintained online PAYE enrolment
- A UK bank account
They should also ensure that their payroll is up to date and all requests from HMRC to provide employee data in respect of the CJRS is complied. If HMRC suspects there is a risk that a fraudulent claim has made Job Retention Bonus payments may be withheld.
In the case of TUPE or transferred ownership
Where TUPE applies or PAYE business succession rules apply a new employer may be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus. This could also apply where the business has been transferred from a liquidator, but otherwise TUPE would have applied.
In this situation the new employer must have furloughed and successfully claimed for the employees they wish to receive the Job Retention Bonus for, and claims will not be accepted for TUPE or business succession rules applying after 31st October 2020.
Statutory parental leave eligibility
For employees who were on statutory parental leave and returned after the 10th of June 2020, as long as a claim was successfully made through the CJRS and they meet the other requirements then they will be eligible.
Fixed term contracts
For employees under fixed term contracts the same eligibility criteria applies and a claim can be made as long as they were successfully claimed for under the CJRS. In addition, their contracts can be extended or renewed without affecting the claim.
What to do now if you intend to claim the bonus
You should ensure that all of your payroll records are up to date, and that all CJRS claims have been accurately submitted.