Part of the plan includes the introduction of a Job Retention Bonus, which is set to provide additional support to employers after the Job Retention Scheme closes on 31 October 2020.
The Job Retention bonus is a one-off payment of £1,000 to every employer, for each employee who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. Currently, there is no requirement for employees to be on furlough at 31 October 2020 – which means that if employees have returned to work before this date, the grant should still be available. However, there are other conditions that must be met.
All employers are eligible – including recruitment agencies and umbrella companies.
In order to ensure that a claim is successful, employers should ensure that they:
- Have complied with the PAYE regulations regarding submissions of Real Time Information (RTI) reports and payment of their PAYE liabilities.
- Maintained enrolment for PAYE online
- Have a UK bank account.
Employers should also ensure that their payroll is kept up to date, and all requests from HMRC to provide missing employee data are addressed as failure to maintain accurate records may jeopardise a claim.
Employers can claim the bonus for any employees that were eligible for a grant under the Job Retention Scheme, providing a claim was actually made. However, if a claim has been made incorrectly, HMRC have stipulated that the bonus will not be payable.
Any business that has employees transferred under the TUPE/PAYE succession rules may be eligible for the scheme – however transferred employees must have been furloughed, and a successful Job Retention Scheme claim must have been made. If employees are transferred under these arrangements after 31 October 2020, the bonus will not be available.
An employer will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus for any employees that were eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and they have claimed a grant for. If a claim was incorrectly made, the bonus will not be payable.
The employee must have remained continuously employed from the time of the most recent CJRS claim for that employee until 31 January 2021, and have been paid at least £520 per month (on average) between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021.
The claim can be made in respect of company directors and office holders, agency workers and those employed by umbrella companies.
The bonus can be claimed from February 2021, through gov.uk. The bonus will be taxable, so must be included as income when calculating business profits.
HMRC have advised that more detailed guidance on the scheme will be published in September 2020.