In a bid to encourage employers to hang on to staff once the furlough scheme ends, the government has introduced a job retention bonus.

This will enable employers to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee they’ve previously received a grant for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This is providing that the employee you’re claiming for remains continuously employed by yourself through to the end of January 2021.

To be eligible, the employee must have received earnings in November, December and January, and must have been paid an average of at least £520 per month, and a total of at least £1,560 across the three months.

As the employer, you will be able to claim the bonus after you’ve filed PAYE information for January 2021. The bonus will be paid from February 2021. More detailed guidance, including how you can claim the bonus online, will be available by the end of September.

 

Do I need to do anything now?

If you intend to make a claim for the Job Retention Bonus, you must:

  • Ensure all your employee records are up-to-date
  • Accurately report employees’ details and wages on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system
  • Make sure all your CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and have told HMRC about any changes needed (for example if you have received too much or too little)

 

Reminder of changes to the CJRS

From 1 August 2020, the CJRS continues to provide grants for furloughed employees but no longer funds employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions. You now have to make these payments from your own resources for all employees, whether furloughed or not. HMRC guidance has been updated to reflect these changes.

 

Making sure your data is right

It’s important that you provide the data HMRC needs in order to process your claim. Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that’s incomplete or incorrect. HMRC may be in touch to request employee data if it’s missing from your previous claims.

 

National Insurance numbers

You need to provide a National Insurance number (NINO) for all employees as part of your CJRS claim. The only exception is in the very limited circumstances where an employee genuinely doesn’t have a NINO, for example if they’re under the age of 16.

If you’re claiming for an employee whose NINO you don’t currently know, you can check their number by searching GOV.UK for ‘Check a National Insurance Number using basic PAYE Tools’.

HMRC can no longer accept claims for fewer than 100 employees by phone where you do not have all employee NINO’s (unless the employees you’re claiming for genuinely don’t have these).

 

What if I’ve accidentally claimed too much?

If you’ve claimed too much for a CJRS grant and haven’t repaid it, you must notify HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

  • 90 days after receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
  • 90 days from when circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant
  • 20 October 2020 if you received CJRS money you are not entitled to or if your circumstances changed on or before 22 July

 

For further information about the job retention bonus, please head to gov.uk or get in touch with PKB and we’ll be happy to help.

 

To read news and blogs from Rebecca Austin, click here >>

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