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  3. What is the Job Retention Bonus?
  1. Home
  2. COVID-19 FAQ's
  3. What is the Job Retention Bonus?

What is the Job Retention Bonus?

The Job Retention Bonus is a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to you (the employer), for each eligible employee that you furloughed and kept continuously employed until 31st January 2021.

Your employee must have been eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for you to be eligible for the bonus. However, you cannot claim the bonus for any employees that you have not paid using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant because you have repaid all the grant amounts you claimed for them. This applies regardless of the reason why you repaid the grant amounts. You also do not have to pay this money to your employee.

Can eligible businesses claim support under the Job Support Scheme?

Eligible businesses can claim support under the Job Support Scheme and still receive the Job Retention Bonus for each employee who was furloughed under the Job Retention Scheme and remains employed on 31st January 2021, provided certain earning thresholds have been met.

Which employers can claim the Job Retention Bonus?

An employer will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus for any employees that were eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and they have claimed a grant for. Where a claim for an employee was incorrectly made, a Job Retention Bonus will not be payable. All employers are eligible for the scheme including recruitment agencies and umbrella companies.

Employers should ensure that 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

Employers must keep their payroll up to date and accurate and address all requests from HMRC to provide missing employee data in respect of historic Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims. Failure to maintain accurate records may jeopardise an employer’s claim.

HMRC will withhold payment of the Job Retention Bonus where it believes there is a risk that Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims may have been fraudulently claimed or inflated, until the enquiry is completed.

Which employees can an eligible employer claim the Job Retention Bonus for?

Claims will only be accepted for employees that were eligible for the scheme. Where a claim for an employee was incorrectly made, a Job Retention Bonus will not be payable.

You can claim for employees that:

  • you made an eligible claim for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • you kept continuously employed from the end of the claim period of your last Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim for them, until 31st January 2021
  • are not serving a contractual or statutory notice period for you on 31st January 2021 (this includes people serving notice of retirement)
  • you paid enough an amount in each relevant tax month and enough to meet the Job Retention Bonus minimum income threshold

If HMRC are still checking your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims, you can still claim the Job Retention Bonus but your payment may be delayed until those checks are completed.

HMRC will not pay the bonus if you made an incorrect Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim and your employee was not eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Employers can claim the Job Retention Bonus for all employees who meet the above criteria, including office holders, company directors and agency workers, including those employed by umbrella companies. The above criteria must be met regardless of the frequency of the employee’s pay periods, their hours worked and rate of pay.

What is the Job Retention minimum income earnings threshold?

To be eligible for the bonus you must make sure that your employees have been paid at least the minimum income threshold.

To meet the minimum income threshold you must pay your employee a total of at least £1,560 (gross) throughout the tax months:

  • 6th November to 5th December 2020
  • 6th December 2020 to 5th January 2021
  • 6th January to 5th February 2021

You must pay your employee at least one payment of taxable earnings (of any amount) in each of the relevant tax months.

The minimum income threshold criteria apply regardless of:

  • how often you pay your employees
  • any circumstances that may have reduced your employee’s pay in the relevant tax periods, such as being on statutory leave or unpaid leave

HMRC  will check that your employees have been paid at least the minimum income threshold by checking information you’ve submitted through Full Payment Submissions via RTI.

Only payments recorded as taxable pay will count towards the minimum income threshold. Taxable pay is reported to HMRC as a single figure through Full Payment Submissions via RTI.

Find examples of employees and the minimum income threshold.

When will employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus?

You cannot claim the Job Retention Bonus until 15th February 2021. Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus through GOV.UK. 

How much will employers  be able to claim?

The Job Retention Bonus will be a one-off payment of £1,000 to the employer for every eligible employee that is claimed for. The bonus will be taxable, so the business must include the whole amount as income when calculating their taxable profits for Corporation Tax or Self-Assessment.

What steps should employers take to ensure they are ready to claim on 15th February 2021?

You cannot claim the bonus until 15th February 2021. HMRC  guidance will be updated by the end of January 2021 with details on how to access the online claim service on GOV.UK.

Before you can claim the bonus, you will to need to have reported all payments made to your employee between 6th November 2020 and 5th February 2021 to HMRC through Full Payment Submissions via RTI.

There are some steps you need to take now to make sure you’re ready to claim.

You must:

  • still be enrolled for PAYE online
  • comply with your PAYE obligations to file PAYE accurately and on time under 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 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

When will the government end the scheme?

  • You will have until 31 March 2021 to make a Job Retention Bonus claim after which the scheme will close. No further claims will be accepted after this date.
  • You will not be able to claim until 15 February 2021 and this guidance will be updated by the end of January 2021 with details on how to access the online claim service.
Updated on 7th October 2020

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