The Government has produced a policy paper with more details on the Job Retention Bonus announced at the start of July.

The paper contains broad details only at this stage and more detailed guidance is proposed to be published in September.

Key points to note from the paper are as follows:

  • Employers will be able to claim the bonus for employees (including office holders, company directors and agency workers) who:
    • were furloughed and had a CJRS claim submitted for them that meets all eligibility criteria for the CJRS. This suggests that an employer can even claim the bonus for an employee who was only furloughed once for three weeks.
    • have been continuously employed by the relevant employer from the time of the employer’s most recent claim for that employee under the CJRS until at least 31 January 2021;
    • have been paid an average of at least £520 a month between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021. The employee does not have to be paid £520 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;
    • are not serving a notice period that started before 1 February 2021.
  • Employers can also claim for employees who transferred to them under TUPE legislation, provided the relevant employee meets the eligibility criteria and the new employer has also submitted a CJRS claim for that employee.
  • The bonus can only be claimed where the original claims submitted under the CJRS were made correctly.  In addition, employers are expected to keep their payroll up to date, accurate and respond to all requests from HMRC to provide missing employee data in respect of any CJRS claim. Otherwise, a claim for the bonus may be jeopardised.
  • The bonus will be a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee that is claimed for and will be taxable in the employer’s hand.
  • Employers will be able to claim for the bonus after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021.

The paper advises that, if employers intend to claim for the bonus, they should ensure that 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 reporting system.  Employers should also make sure all of their CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and any necessary amendments have been notified to HMRC.

If you have any queries in respect of application of the bonus scheme, please do not hesitate to contact us.