HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published guidance setting out how the Job Retention Bonus will operate.
The Job Retention Bonus was announced by the Chancellor at the Summer Economic Update on 8 July 2020 and will provide employers with a one-off payment of £1,000 for each previously furloughed employee continuously employed to 31 January 2021.
Eligible employees who return from furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) must be paid £520 a month on average between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 and receive earnings during each of November, December and January.
Employers will be able to claim the payment after they have filed for PAYE in January 2021, with payments expected from February 2021 onwards.
HMRC says employers must ensure they have:
- complied with their obligations to pay and file PAYE accurately and on time under the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system for all employees
- maintained enrolment for PAYE online
- a UK bank account.
Additionally, employers must ensure their payroll and RTI records are up to date and must co-operate with HMRC requests for information about their CJRS claims.
Where HMRC considers that CJRS claims may have been fraudulent or inflated, payments will be withheld until the conclusion of any enquiry.
Detailed guidance on the earnings that count towards the £520 a month average minimum earning threshold is expected to be published in September 2020. The new guidance also confirms that the payment will be taxable.
HMRC advises that employers wishing to claim the bonus should ensure that their employee records are up to date and that they are reporting employees’ details and wages on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through RTI submissions. If you would like assistance with administering the Job Retention Bonus scheme, please contact our payroll team.