Be Aware UK: Job Retention Bonus - New guidance just released

The Government has today (31 July 2020) published a policy paper setting out more detailed guidance on the Job Retention Bonus announced as part of the 'Plan for Jobs' on 8 July. The Job Retention Bonus is intended to provide additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ends on 31 October 2020.

The Job Retention Bonus is a taxable one-off payment to employers of GBP1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the CJRS, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021.

Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021.

Employers will be able to claim for employees who:

  • were furloughed and had a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim submitted for them that meets all relevant eligibility criteria for the scheme
  • have been continuously employed by the relevant employer from the time of the employer’s most recent claim for that employee until at least 31 January 2021
  • have been paid an average of at least GBP520 a month between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 (a total of at least GBP1,560 across the 3 months). The employee does not have to be paid GBP520 in each month, but must have received some earnings in each of the three calendar months that have been paid and reported to HMRC via RTI;
  • have up-to-date RTI records for the period to the end of January.

In order to be eligible employees must not be serving a contractual or statutory notice period that started before 1 February 2021.

Where employees have TUPE transferred to a new employer, the new employer may be eligible to claim the Job Retention Bonus in respect of those employees provided the transferred employees have been furloughed and claimed for under the CJRS by the new employer following a transfer taking place on or before 31 October 2020 (when the CJRS comes to an end).

HMRC will withhold payment of the Job Retention Bonus where it believes there is a risk that Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims may have been fraudulently claimed or inflated, until the enquiry is completed.

Detailed guidance will be published in September 2020.