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Job Retention Bonus Scheme

12th October 2020

The bonus works by awarding the employer a one off payment of £1,000 for each eligible employee. The employer is not obliged to pay this money over to their employees.

It is important to note that like the job retention scheme payments, these £1,000 bonus payments are treated as taxable income in the hands of the employer.

Which Employees Can A Claim Be Made For?

A claim may be made for each employee that an eligible claim would have been made for under the Job Retention scheme (payments received for furloughed staff). That individual must also have been continuously employed from the end of the period of the employer’s last furlough claim for them up until 31 January 2021.

Claims will not be able to be made for employees who are serving a notice period (contractual or statutory) on 31 January 2021. This also includes staff that are serving a notice period of retirement.

The employer must have paid enough each month to meet the Job Retention Bonus minimum income threshold (see below).

Please note, payments will not be awarded for any employees for whom an incorrect job retention scheme claim was made for, this is because the employee concerned was not actually eligible for the scheme payments in the first place.

It is worth noting that an employer may make a claim for employees of a previous business that were transferred over to them. This will apply in instances where the TUPE rules/ The PAYE business succession rules applied.

Job Support Scheme

It is worth pointing out that the bonus can still be claimed by an employer if they are making a claim for an employee through the Job Support Scheme.

What Is The Job Retention Bonus Minimum Income Threshold

To meet this requirement an employee must have paid the employee a minimum of £1,560 gross in total, throughout the following tax months:

  • 6 November 2020 to 5 December 2020
  • 6 December 2020 to 5 January 2021
  • 6 January 2021 to 5 February 2021

The employer must pay their employee at least one payment of taxable earnings (of any total) in each of the relevant tax months. This would include payments such as statutory sick pay, which is taxable pay.

The above criteria applies irrespective of the frequency of which the employer pays their employees and will apply regardless of any circumstances that reduced an employee’s pay in the tax periods (e.g. unpaid leave). HMRC have stated that they will check these thresholds have been met by comparing it to their payroll records that have been submitted by the employer for these months.

When May I Claim 

This bonus will be available for businesses to claim between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021.

Claims cannot be made before the 15 February 2021 and claims will not be accepted after the closing date of 31 March 2021.

What Do I Need to Make A Claim

In order to make a claim a business must be enrolled for PAYE online and they must have reported all payments made to employees between 6 November 2020 and 5 November 2021. The reporting must have been done through HMRC Real Time Information submissions.

The employer will/would have also need to comply with all PAYE obligations and make accurate reporting for all staff between 6 April 2020 and 5 February 2021.

Can I Use A Payroll Agent?

The answer to this is yes. Payroll agents that are authorised to do PAYE online for an employer will be able to make these claims on their behalf.

It is expected more information will be published in regards to this scheme towards the end of January 2021.

For further information or help from a member of our team, get in touch.

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