CORONAVIRUS: Job Retention Bonus

The Government has issued a policy paper which provides further details of the scheme under which employers will receive a £1,000 taxable one-off payment for every employee previously furloughed who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. Anyone serving a contractual or statutory notice period, that started before 1 February 2021, is excluded from the scheme.

To be eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between the 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021. Employers will be able to claim after they have filed their PAYE return for January and payments will be made from February 2021.

Employers expecting to claim under the scheme should ensure:

Their employee records are up-to-date including accurately reporting their employee’s details and wages on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system;

All of their Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims have been accurately submitted and any necessary amendments have been notified to HMRC; and

All requests from HMRC to provide missing employee data in respect of historic Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims have been addressed.

The minimum earnings must be met, regardless of the frequency of the employee’s pay periods, their hours worked and rate of pay, and recorded through HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) records.

The bonus can be claimed for fixed term contract employees who were furloughed provided the other eligibility criteria are met. Contracts can be extended or renewed without affecting eligibility for the bonus, provided that continuous employment is maintained.

Detailed guidance will be published in September 2020.

Monday, 3rd August, 2020