In July 2020, the Chancellor announced the Job Retention Bonus. This is a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to employers, for each eligible employee that has been furloughed and kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021.
You’ll be able to claim the bonus between 15 February 2021 and 31 March 2021. You do not have to pay this money to your employee.
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.
If you have repaid Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant amounts to HMRC
You cannot claim the bonus for any employees that you have not paid using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant because you have repaid all the grant amounts you claimed for them. This applies regardless of the reason why you repaid the grant amounts.
Employees you can 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)
- you paid enough to meet the Job Retention Bonus minimum income threshold (see below)
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.
The minimum income threshold
To be eligible for the bonus you must make sure that your employees have been paid at least the minimum income threshold.
To meet the minimum income threshold you must pay your employee a total of at least £1,560 (gross) throughout the tax months:
- 6 November to 5 December 2020
- 6 December 2020 to 5 January 2021
- 6 January to 5 February 2021
You must pay your employee at least one payment of taxable earnings (of any amount) in each of the relevant tax months.
The minimum income threshold criteria apply regardless of:
- how often you pay your employees
- any circumstances that may have reduced your employee’s pay in the relevant tax periods, such as being on statutory leave or unpaid leave
HMRC will check that your employees have been paid at least the minimum income threshold by checking information you’ve submitted through Full Payment Submissions via Real Time Information (RTI).
Get ready to claim
You cannot claim the bonus until 15 February 2021. HMRC will issue further guidance by the end of January 2021 with details on how to access the online claim service on GOV.UK.
More information on the Job Retention Bonus can be found here.
26 October 2020