Job Retention Bonus - Guidance for Employers

The Government has recently published guidance for employers about the Job Retention Bonus. This is a one-off £1,000 (taxable) payment for each eligible employee furloughed and kept in continuous employment until 31 January 2021. The bonus can be claimed between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021.

What should I do NOW to prepare for making a claim in 2021?

If you are an employer, HMRC advice is to take the following steps now, in order to ensure you are ready to claim next year. As an employer you must:

  • still be enrolled for PAYE online
  • comply with PAYE obligations to file PAYE accurately and on time under Real Time Information (RTI) reporting for all employees between 6 April 2020 and 5 February 2021
  • keep your payroll up to date and ensure you report leaving dates for any employees that stop working for you before the end of the pay period that they leave in
  • use the irregular payment pattern indicator in Real Time Information (RTI) for any employees not being paid regularly, and
  • comply with all requests from HMRC to provide any employee data for past Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims.

Which employees can I claim for?

As an employer, you can claim for employees who:
·         you made an eligible claim for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
·         you kept continuously employed from the end of the last claim period until 31 January 2021
·         are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period on 31 January 2021 (including notice of retirement)
·         you paid a sufficient amount to, in each relevant tax month -  and enough to meet the Job Retention Bonus minimum income threshold (see below).
To be eligible for the bonus you must pay your employee a total of at least £1,560 (gross) throughout the tax months:
·         6 November to 5 December 2020
·         6 December 2020 to 5 January 2021
·         6 January to 5 February 2021

You will still be able to claim the Bonus for employees receiving support through the Job Support Scheme which will supersede the CJRS.

Can I claim for staff transferred to my business?

You might be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus for employees of a previous business which were transferred to you if:
·         TUPE rules applied
·        PAYE business succession rules applied
·         the employees were associated with the transfer of a business from the liquidator of a company in compulsory liquidation where TUPE would have applied if the company was not in compulsory liquidation

Check if you can claim the Job Retention Bonus 
How to determine eligibility and calculate claims
For expert employment law advice, please contact Maureen Cawthorn or James Hodgson at our Halifax office on 01422 339600.