The government has announced a few more details today about the Job Retention Bonus, part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs, to help support the recovery of the UK economy, post Covid. This is a one-off, taxable payment of £1,000 to employers for every employee who they previously claimed for under the Job Retention Scheme, and who remain in continuous employment until 31 January 2021. The bonus is intended to provide additional support to employers who continue to employ their furloughed workers after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comes to an end on 31 October 2020.
Who is eligible?
- All employers are eligible for the scheme, including recruitment agencies – providing they have complied with their PAYE and Real Time Information (RTI) obligations, maintained enrolment for PAYE online and have a UK bank account.
- Employers must keep their payroll accurate and up to date. Failure to maintain accurate records may jeopardise a claim. HMRC has said that it will withhold payment of the bonus where it believes there is a risk that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims may have been fraudulently claimed, until the enquiry is completed.
- Eligible employees must earn at least £520 per month on average, between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 (a total of at least £1,560 across the 3-month period). The employee does not have to have been paid £520 in each month, but must have received some earnings in each of the calendar months. Further guidance on earning criteria will follow.
How can employers claim?
- Employers will be able to claim the bonus after they have filed PAYE for January.
- Payments will be made to employers from February 2021, but we’re still waiting for more details about this process and how to claim.
- If you intend to claim, make sure that your employee records are up to date and that all Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims have been accurately submitted. Don’t forget that today (31 July) is the last day that you can submit a claim for June – you must have made a claim by today, in order to be able to claim for future months, and for the bonus.
When will we know more?
- Detailed guidance is expected to be published by the end of September.
If you would like help or support with this process, please do get in touch with the team at Inspire.