The government’s Job Retention Bonus aims to support employers who keep furloughed workers continuously employed until at least the start of February 2021. The £1,000 bonus can be claimed by employers between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021 and the government will issue details on how to access the online claim service in due course. The bonus is intended to partially reimburse your wage costs.

New guidance has been issued on the Job Retention Bonus and it is important to remember that this bonus can be claimed even if employers are using the Job Support Scheme.

Who can claim?

Currently, HMRC’s guidance suggests employers can claim if they have made an eligible claim for an employee through the CJRS. They can still claim the bonus if they make a claim for that employee through the Job Support Scheme.

Employers can claim for employees that:

  • You made an eligible claim for under the CJRS
  • You kept continuously employed from the end of the claim period of your last CJRS claim for them until 31 January 2021
  • Are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period on 31 January 2021 (including notice of retirement)
  • You paid the minimum income threshold to qualify for the Job Retention Bonus. That is a minimum total of £1,560 gross taxable pay across the November, December and January tax months, ending on 5 February 2021, having made a payment of any amount in each of the three months

You can also claim for an individual who is not an employee, such as office holders or agency workers, as long as you claimed a grant for them under the CJRS and other JRB criteria are met.

Preparing to claim

Although you cannot make a claim until 15 February 2021, to be ready to claim employers must:

  • still be enrolled for PAYE online
  • comply with your 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 make sure you report the leaving date 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
  • comply with all requests from HMRC to provide any employee data for past Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims

As with the CJRS scheme, if we are authorised to act for you for PAYE online, Bates Weston will be able to claim the JRB for you. HMRC promise further details before the end of January 2021.

Wayne Thomas, partner at Bates Weston comments:

“The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has proved invaluable for many clients and we are pleased to have been able to help them access this scheme. The Job Support Scheme, continues to help businesses to retain staff despite depressed demand, and the Job Retention Bonus will give an extra boost to those businesses who have brought back and retained furloughed staff. As PAYE agents for many of our clients we will continue to support them in navigating the changing support schemes and accessing available bonuses.”

If you need our help to clarify your own position, please do get in touch.