Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus – Update

Pauline Hughes
Pauline Hughes
Solicitor
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Further to our recent JEL alert on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s “Plan for Jobs” which can be accessed here, further information has now been released on the Government’s Job Retention Bonus.

The Government has confirmed that the Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment of £1,000 (which will be taxable) which employers can claim for all employees, including office holders, company directors, agency workers and those employed by umbrella companies, who meet the following criteria:

  • They met the eligibility criteria for furlough, and were furloughed, under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS);
  • They were continuously employed since the most recent claim through to 31 January 2021;
  • They were paid an average of at least £520 per month between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 (a total of at least £1,560 across the 3 months). Only earnings recorded through HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) records count towards the average minimum earnings threshold. The employee will not need to have been paid £520 in each of these months but must have some earnings recorded in each of the three months which have been paid and reported to HMRC via RTI. Further guidance is expected in this respect in September 2020;
  • The employer has up to date RTI records in respect of the employee for the period to the end of January 2021; and
  • The employee is not serving out a contractual or statutory notice period that started before 1 February 2021 for the employer making the claim.

In addition, the Government have confirmed that claims for the Job Retention Bonus can be made in respect of:

  • Employees of a previous business which were transferred to a new employer under TUPE regulations or PAYE business succession rules, as long as the transferred employees were furloughed and successfully claimed for under the CJRS by their new employer before 31 October 2020.
  • Employees who were on statutory parental leave or mobilised as a military reservist, who returned from that leave or period of mobilisation after 10 June 2020 and were claimed for under the CJRS.
  • Fixed term employees who the employer claimed for under the CJRS.

The Government has confirmed that employers will be able to claim the bonus through the gov.uk website from February 2021. More guidance is expected on how to claim by the end of September 2020.

In the meantime, if you intend to claim the bonus in respect of your employees, you should ensure:

  • that all CJRS claims have been, and continue to be, accurately submitted (notifying HMRC of any necessary amendments); and;
  • that your employee records are up-to-date, including accurately reporting your employee’s details and wages on the Full Payment Submission through the RTI reporting system.

More information on the Job Retention Bonus can be accessed here.

If you would like to discuss the above, or you require support or advice on any other employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0141 331 5150.

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