Following Rishi Sunak’s announcements in July which outlined the Governments plan for economic recovery in the UK, guidance has now been released on the anticipated Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus.
In a nutshell, the Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment of £1,000 for each employee retained following furlough.
• The employee must be continuously employed through to 31st January 2021.
• Eligible employees must earn a minimum average £520.00 per month between 1st November 2020 and 31st January 2021.
o Note: ONLY earnings recorded through the RTI reporting system count towards this average figure – further guidance to follow.
• Employers can claim the bonus following their January payroll submissions.
• The bonus payment will subsequently be paid to employers from February 2021.
All employers are eligible for the scheme providing that a genuine furlough scheme claim was made, incorrect claims will not be eligible for the Job Retention Bonus.
To be eligible for the bonus employers should ensure;
• PAYE enrolment is maintained
• PAYE submission obligations using Real Time Information (RTI) reporting are met
• They hold a UK bank account
• Payroll records must be kept up to date and any requests for further information or employee data from HMRC are complied with.
Which Employees Can You Claim For?
The following are examples of the employees you may claim for under the scheme;
• Employees who were furloughed and had a CJRS claim submitted that meets all criteria.
• Employees who have up to date RTI records up to the 31st January.
• Employees who have been in continuous employment from the most recent furlough claim to the end of January 2021.
• Employees who are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period, that precedes the 1st February 2021.
• Employees who returned from parental leave after 10th June 2020 and were claimed for under the furlough scheme.
• Employees on fixed term contracts who were claimed for under the furlough scheme – contracts can be extended or renewed without affecting bonus eligibility as log as the employee has been continuously employed.
• Employees who have been transferred under TUPE. To be eligible, the transferred employees must have been furloughed and the scheme claimed by the new employer. An employer may not be eligible for the bonus scheme for any employees transferred under TUPE or the business succession rules after the 31st October 2020.
Employers are warned that where HMRC suspect there to be fraudulent or exaggerated claims, they will withhold the bonus payment while they investigate the furlough claim.
When And How Can Employers Claim
Employers will be able to make a claim through the Government website GOV.UK from February 2021, so far guidance on how to do so has not been published and is expected during September 2020.
MJB Avanti will bring you further updates as soon as they are available, and as with previous furlough matters, we will be on hand to assist clients with their bonus scheme claims.