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(Postponed as a result of the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to 30 April 2021)

Guidance has been issued by Government setting out how to make a claim for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Bonus.

According to Government “The scheme is designed to continue to support jobs through the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus by encouraging and helping employers to retain as many employees who’ve been on furlough as possible”.

What this aspect of the scheme does is pay a bonus of £1,000 to employers for each eligible employee that was furloughed but was kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021.

This will work alongside the Job Support Scheme, which takes effect from 1 November (when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme furlough scheme ends) and employers can still benefit from the bonus if they are claiming for the employee through the Job Support Scheme.

Further guidance is expected at the end of January 2021, with details of how to access the claim portal.


Am I eligible to claim Job Retention Scheme Bonus?

According to the current guidance, a claim can be made for employees providing that:

  • the employer made an eligible claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • the employer continuously employed the employee from the end of the CJRS claim period for the particular employee, until 31 January 2021

  • the employee is not serving a contractual or statutory notice period for the employer on 31 January 2021 (this includes people serving notice of retirement)

  • The employee has been paid a minimum income threshold of £1,560 between 6 November 2020 and 5 February 2021, and has received a payment in each of those months.

As with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the bonus will be subject to tax for the recipient employer.


When can I make a claim?

The claim window will open on 15 February 2021 and will close on 31 March 2021. In order to make a claim all RTI submissions and payments must be up to date.


Can Company Directors qualify?

As with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Office holders and Directors can qualify. However, the guidance also says that at least one payment must be made in each of the three months to qualify (so annual or quarterly paid Directors may not qualify unless payments are accelerated).


Using Agents

The guidance indicates that agents, who are authorised to do PAYE online, will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus on behalf of their clients.


What about previous transfer of employees under TUPE

Where employees have previously been transferred under TUPE and business succession rules apply, the bonus may still be available, providing the new employer has furloughed the employee. No bonus will be available for any employees who are transferred after the CJRS scheme closes on 31 October 2020.

Additional guidance is expected in January 2021, and we will update you once we know more.

Please do get in touch with your normal Shorts contact to talk any of the above through in more detail. 

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David Robinson

As a Tax Partner, I advise clients on all aspects of UK tax, ranging from business taxes, transactions and private client matters, helping to achieve the objectives and aspirations of businesses and their owners.

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