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Can I claim the Job Retention Bonus?

4 August 2020
Gavin Hooker
COVID-19, Payroll, People

When the Chancellor presented his “Plan for Jobs” on 8 July 2020 he mentioned introducing a new Job Retention Bonus to provide additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees in meaningful employment after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020.

What is the Job Retention Bonus?

The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the scheme, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021.

Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021.

Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021!

Can I claim the Job Retention Bonus?

All employers are eligible for the scheme including recruitment agencies and umbrella companies.

As an employer you should ensure that you have:

  • complied with your obligations to pay and file PAYE accurately and on time under the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system for all employees
  • maintained enrolment for PAYE online
  • a UK bank account

You must keep your payroll up to date and accurate and address all requests from HMRC to provide missing employee data in respect of historic Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims. Failure to maintain accurate records may jeopardise your claim.

HMRC will withhold payment of the Job Retention Bonus where it believes there is a risk that Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims may have been fraudulently claimed or inflated, until the enquiry is completed.

What employees can I claim for?

As an employer, you will be able to claim for employees who:

  • were furloughed and had a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim submitted for them that meets all relevant eligibility criteria for the scheme
  • have been continuously employed by the relevant employer from the time of the employer’s most recent claim for that employee 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 (a total of at least £1,560 across the 3 months). 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 contractual or statutory notice period, that started before 1 February 2021, for the employer making a claim.

You can claim the Job Retention Bonus for all employees who meet the above criteria, including office holders, company directors and agency workers, including those employed by umbrella companies.

The above criteria must be met regardless of the frequency of the employee’s pay periods, their hours worked and rate of pay.

How do I claim the Job Retention Bonus?

From February 2021, you will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus through the GOV.UK website. More detail about this process will be published in guidance by the end of September 2020.

How much can I claim for?

The Job Retention Bonus will be a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee that is claimed for. The bonus is taxable, so you will need to include the whole amount as income when calculating your taxable profits for Self-Assessment or Corporation Tax.

We are here to support your business, if you have any concerns please call us or email Mark or Andrew.

The content in this blog is correct as at 04/08/2020. See terms and conditions.

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