Do you qualify for the job retention bonus?
Posted on 8th October 2020
Back in August, the government announced that some employers will be eligible for a £1000 grant per employee they’ve previously claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), as long as said employees have remained continuously employed through to 31 January 2021, under a new Job Retention Scheme Bonus.
Employers can still claim the bonus even if they make a claim for that employee through the Job Support Scheme. We are still awaiting guidance on the Job Support Scheme which is due to be published soon.
So who can claim?
You can claim for employees that you made an eligible claim for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as long as you kept them continuously employed from the end of the claim period of your last Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim for them, until 31 January 2021.
You can also claim for employees who are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period for you on 31 January 2021 (this includes people serving notice of retirement), and employees who you paid enough an amount in each relevant tax month and enough to meet the Job Retention Bonus minimum income threshold.
To meet the minimum income threshold you must have paid your employee a total of at least £1,560 throughout the tax months 6 November - 5 December 2020, 6 December 2020 - 5 January 2021 and 6 January - 5 February 2021. The minimum income threshold criteria apply regardless of how often you pay your employees, or under any circumstances that may have reduced your employee’s pay in the relevant tax periods, such as being on statutory or unpaid leave.
If you have employees who were transferred to you under TUPE or due to a change in business ownership, you may be eligible providing you furloughed and successfully claimed for them under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as their new employer. These employees must also meet all the relevant eligibility criteria for the Job Retention Bonus.
Please note that nobody is able to claim the bonus until 15 February 2021, so no need to panic for now! We expect the full guidance will be updated and published by the end of January 2021 with details on how to access the online claim service on the gov.uk website.
How to get ready to claim
Before you can claim the bonus, you will need to have reported all payments made to your employee between 6 November 2020 and 5 February 2021 to HMRC through Full Payment Submissions via Real Time Information (RTI).
If we are your accountant we can help you do this, but if you do not have an accountant and you are doing this on your own, here are some steps you need to take now to make sure you’re ready to claim...
Still be enrolled for PAYE online
Comply with your PAYE obligations to file PAYE accurately and on time under Real Time Information (RTI) reporting for all employees between 6 April 2020 and 5 February 2021
Keep your payroll up to date and make sure you report the leaving date for any employees that stop working for you before the end of the pay period that they leave in
Use the irregular payment pattern indicator in Real Time Information (RTI) for any employees not being paid regularly
Comply with all requests from HMRC to provide any employee data for past Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims
Please do feel free to get in touch with us if you'd like help preparing to claim for the Job Retention Scheme Bonus - we are still taking on new clients and will be able to advise whether we can help you or not.
If you're struggling to get your head around the constant changes, you're certainly not alone. Please feel free to join our dedicated coronavirus Facebook support group here. This is free for both clients and non-clients. You can also access our coronavirus support hub on the website here, which has heaps of free resources and information which we update regularly.
Nicola J Sorrell -
Founder | Xero Champion | IR35 Expert
Tagged as: Coronavirus
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