The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021.
Employees must earn at least £520 (the national insurance lower earnings limit) a month on average between the beginning of November and the end of January 2021.
Those who were furloughed and had a claim submitted for them after 10 June (when the CJRS closed to new entrants) because they were returning from paternal leave will also be eligible for the bonus as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria.
When to claim
Employers will also be eligible for the employee transfers protected under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations legislation, provided they have been continuously employed and meet the other eligibility criteria as well as the employer has also submitted a CJRS claim for that employee.
From February 2021, employers will be able to claim the bonus through the Government website. Further details about this will be published by the end of September 2020.
Should operators intend to claim the bonus, they should ensure their employee records are up to date including accurately reporting their employee’s details and wages on the Full Payment Submission through the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system.
Operators should also ensure all their CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and any necessary amendments have been notified to HMRC.
Employers should ensure they have complied with their obligations to pay and file PAYE accurately and on time under the RTI reporting system for all employees, maintained enrolment for PAYE online and a UK bank account.
HMRC has warned it will withhold payment of the bonus where it believes there is a risk CJRS claims may have been fraudulently claimed or inflated, until the enquiry is completed.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Our successful furlough scheme will continue to help businesses and protect millions of jobs until the end of October and our additional £1,000 job retention bonus will ensure this support continues as our economy reopens and people return to work.
“We will support jobs and businesses as we come out of this crisis just as we did as we came into it.”