What is the Job Support Scheme?
The Job Retention Bonus is a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to you (the employer), for each eligible employee that you furloughed and kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021.
Who can claim?
You can claim the bonus if you’re an employer who has furloughed employees and made an eligible claim for them through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Your employee must have been eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for you to be eligible for the bonus.
You can still claim the bonus if you make a claim for that employee through the Job Support Scheme.
Who can we claim for?
You can claim for employees that:
- you made an eligible claim for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- you kept continuously employed from the end of the claim period of your last Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim for them, until 31 January 2021
- are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period for you on 31 January 2021 (this includes people serving notice of retirement or dismissal)
- are paid a total gross salary of at least £1560, during the tax months
- 6 November to 5 December 2020,
- 6 December 2020 to 5 January 2021, and
- 6 January to 5 February 2021.
- this is to prevent an employer claiming the bonus for employees they have kept on the books but only paying a trivial amount to them before 31stJanuary 2021.
- the employer must also have made at least one payment of taxable earnings (of any amount) to the employee in each of these tax months. If an employee receives no taxable pay during one of the relevant months, the employer cannot claim the Job Retention Bonus in respect of that individual.
If HMRC are still checking your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims, you can still claim the Job Retention Bonus, but your payment may be delayed until those checks are completed.
HMRC will not pay the bonus if you made an incorrect Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim and your employee was not eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Example of employer deciding which employees meet the minimum income threshold for the Job Retention Bonus
The Government have provided some worked examples of deciding whether the employees meet the minimum income threshold.
When can we claim?
You will be able to claim the bonus between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021.
Do we have to pass the bonus onto the employee?
No, you do not have to pay this money to your employee.
Will it be paid to employers who have already brought employees back?
Yes. The new guidance is clear that the eligibility criteria requires employees to have been continuously employed from the end of the claim period of the last CJRS claim for them. The bonus will therefore be payable for employees who had returned to work even before the original announcement was made, so long as they had been furloughed at some point and they meet the minimum income threshold requirement.
Does Statutory Sick Pay count towards taxable earnings?
Yes, it does because SSP is a taxable earning.
What about employees who have been transferred under TUPE?
The new guidance specifically addresses the position in relation to business transfers. In TUPE situations, employers may be able to claim for employees that have transferred to them. However, to claim the Job Retention Bonus, the employer must have furloughed and successfully claimed the individuals under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as their new employer. Practically, this means that an employer cannot claim the bonus for any employees that transfer to them after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes on 31 October 2020.