HMRC have issued a policy paper expanding the details of the coronavirus 'Job Retention Bonus'. The bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the Coronavirus Employee Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and whose employment is maintained until the end of January 2021.
- The Job Retention Bonus 'JRB' can be claimed for employees, officeholders, company directors and agency workers, including those employed by umbrella companies.
- As with other Coronavirus grants, the JRB will be taxable as the employer’s income.
- The employee was furloughed and had a Coronavirus Employee Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claim submitted for them that meets all relevant eligibility criteria for the scheme
- The employee remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021.
- Eligible employees must earn at 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 three months), reported under Real-Time Information (RTI).
- The employee must not be serving a contractual or statutory notice period, that started before 1 February 2021, for the employer making a claim.
Timing of claims
- Employers will be able to claim the JRB after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021.
- More detailed guidance will be published in September 2020.
All employers are eligible for the scheme including recruitment agencies and umbrella companies.
Employers should ensure that they have:
- Complied with their 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.
Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE)
- A new employer may be eligible to claim the JRB in respect of employees of a previous business which were transferred to the new employer if either TUPE applies, or the PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership.
- An employer will not be eligible for the JRB in respect of any employee transferred under TUPE or under the business succession rules after 31 October 2020.
- If an employee was on statutory parental leave, returned after 10 June 2020 and was claimed for under the CJRS then the employer will be able to claim the JRB in respect of that employee provided the other eligibility criteria are met.
Employees who are military reservists returning to work
- If an employee was mobilised as a military reservist, returned after 10 June 2020 and was claimed for under the scheme then the employer will be able to claim the JRB in respect of that employee provided the other eligibility criteria are met.
Preparing for JRB claims
- HMRC suggests that employers should ensure that their employee records are up-to-date, including accurately reporting their employee’s details and wages on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through the RTI reporting system.
- Employers should also make sure all of their CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and any necessary amendments have been notified to HMRC.
- Where a claim for an employee was incorrectly made, a JRB will not be payable.
Coronavirus Employee Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: a cash grant that is designed to allow employers to retain staff who would otherwise be laid off.
HMRC Policy Paper: Job Retention Bonus