Job Retention Scheme Bonus Details Announced

Further information about the Job Retention Scheme Bonus was released this month by HMRC. Please find below key points related to the Bonus and where to source further information.

What is the Job Retention Scheme Bonus?

The bonus is a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to the employer, for each eligible employee that was furloughed and subsequently kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021.

Who can claim the bonus?

Employers will still be able to claim under the scheme even if they are also receiving support from the recently announced Job Support Scheme (the replacement to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme), which launches on 1 November.

The bonus is available to any employer that has furloughed employees and made an eligible claim for them through the CJRS but is not payable to any employer who repaid a CJRS grant.

The new guidance outlines arrangements for employees who have been transferred from another employer, and those who are not employees but classified as office holders or agency workers.

There is a minimum income threshold the employer must pay the 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; and 6 January to 5 February 2021.

What steps must employers take to claim the bonus?

Before employers can claim the bonus, they will to need to have reported all payments made to employees between 6 November 2020 and 5 February 2021 to HMRC through full payment submissions via real time information (RTI).

Businesses must include payments they receive under the scheme as income when calculating their taxable profits for income tax and corporation tax purposes but can deduct employment costs as normal.

Individuals with employees that are not employed as part of a business (such as nannies or other domestic staff) will not have to pay tax on grants received under the scheme.

Is there a minimum wage threshold?

To be eligible for the bonus, employers must make sure that their employees have been paid at least the minimum income threshold of £1,560 (gross), or a minimum of £520 per month throughout November, December and January.

When can employers claim the bonus?

You cannot claim the bonus until 15 February 2021 and employers will have until 31 March 2021 to make a claim after which the scheme will close. No further claims will be accepted after this date.

This guidance will be updated by HMRC at the end of January 2021 with details on how to access the online claim service at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-claim-the-job-retention-bonus-from-15-february-2021