Job Retention Bonus

On 31 July 2020, HMRC published a policy paper providing further details on the Job Retention Bonus (JRB), originally announced by the Chancellor on 8 July 2020.

The policy paper confirms that the JRB will be a taxable one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who an employer previously claimed for, correctly, under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021.

Employers may claim a JRB in respect of employees who transferred to them where either TUPE applies (or would have applied but for the previous employer's compulsory liquidation) or the PAYE business succession rules apply, only if the transferring employees were successfully claimed for under the CJRS by that employer (as opposed to only by the previous employer).

Employers will be able to claim for employees who:

  • Were furloughed and had a CJRS claim submitted for them that meets all relevant CJRS eligibility criteria.
  • Have been continuously employed by the employer from the most recent CJRS claim in respect of that employee to 31 January 2021.
  • Have been paid at least £520 a month on average between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 (a total of at least £1,560 over the three months).
  • Have up-to-date Real Time Information (RTI) records for the period up to 31 January 2021.
  • Are not serving a notice period that started before 1 February 2021.

Subject to these criteria, employers can claim a JRB for all employees including office holders, company directors and agency workers (including those employed by umbrella companies).

Employers will be able to claim the JRB from February 2021 through a government website.

The policy paper states that more details of the process will be published in guidance by the end of September 2020. In the meantime, employers should ensure that their employee records are up-to-date, and that they correctly report their employees' details through RTI. Employers should also make sure their CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and any necessary amendments have been notified to HMRC.