The Job Retention Bonus (Bonus) has been put in place to incentivise employers to retain staff who were furloughed and to minimise redundancy programmes following the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) or furlough scheme on 31 October.
In this article, we answer some of the frequently asked questions that are arising from the Scheme.
What Is the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus?
The Bonus will be a one-off taxable payment of £1,000 in respect of every employee previously successfully claimed for under the CJRS - as long as that employee remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021.
What Criteria Must Be Met for the Bonus to Be Payable?
Schools will be able to claim for staff who:
- were furloughed and in respect of whom a valid CJRS claim was made
- were continuously employed between the dates of the most recent CJRS claim to 31 January 2021
- were paid at least £520 per month between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 (amounting to £1,560 over three months)
- have Real Time Information records for the period to 31 January 2021
- are not serving their notice period on 31 January 2021
When Can a School Claim the Bonus?
Employers will be able to make a claim for the Bonus from 15 February 2021 to 31 March 2021. There are still some further details to be ironed out - the exact procedure that a school will need to follow to claim the Bonus, for example. It is also unclear when an employer can expect to receive the Bonus having submitted a valid claim.
Can a School Terminate the Employment of an Employee After 31 January 2021 and Still Claim the Bonus That Would Have Been Due?
The rules do not appear to prevent this, but there is no guarantee as to the success of such a claim. It may well be the case that claims in relation to such employees are subject to considerable scrutiny.
Can a School Claim the Bonus in Respect of Employees Transferred to It in the Event of a Merger?
To claim the Bonus in respect of transferred employees, the school must have furloughed those employees and made a successful claim under the CJRS.
This means a school is not able to claim the Bonus for any employees who transfer to it after the CJRS closes on 31 October 2020.
Where an employee has transferred from one employer to another following a TUPE transfer before 31 October 2020, it may be possible for the new employer to claim the Bonus provided the new employer had successfully made a CJRS claim in respect of that employee following the transfer.
Originally published by Veale Wasbrough Vizards, October 2020
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.