HMRC announces further details of the Job Retention Bonus
The new Job Retention Bonus, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs last month, will see businesses receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every previously furloughed employee if they are still employed at the end of January next year.
The scheme is designed to continue to support jobs through the UK’s economic recovery from the coronavirus by encouraging and helping employers to retain as many employees who’ve been on furlough as possible.
A policy statement published by the HMRC gives employers further details on eligibility requirements and how they can claim the bonus. Under the terms:
- Employers will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who has previously been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), if they remain continuously employed to the end of January 2021.
- To ensure the jobs are meaningful well paid, employees must earn at least £520 (the National Insurance lower earnings limit) a month on average between the beginning of November and the end of January.
- Those who were furloughed and had a claim submitted for them after 10 June (when the CJRS closed to new entrants), because they were returning from paternal leave or time serving as a military reservist, will also be eligible for the bonus as long as they meet the other eligibility criteria.
- Employers will also be eligible for employee transfers protected under TUPE legislation, provided they have been continuously employed and meet the other eligibility criteria and the new employer has also submitted a CJRS claim for that employee.
“Our successful furlough scheme will continue to help businesses and protect millions of jobs until the end of October, and our additional £1,000 job retention bonus will ensure this support continues as our economy reopens and people return to work,” said Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.
“We will support jobs and businesses as we come out of this crisis just as we did as we came into it.”
The HMRC explained that the scheme is designed to protect jobs, meaning that those who are serving notice for redundancy will not be eligible for the bonus.
The publication comes as changes to the CJRS — which has so far protected 9.5 million jobs across the UK — come into force.
As of 1 August, the government will continue to pay 80 per cent of furloughed employees wages, but employers will have to pay employers National Insurance contributions and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough.