The new job retention bonus and job retention scheme update

Jul 13, 2020

Last week the Chancellor announced the introduction of the Job Retention Bonus (“JRB”). HMRC has also sent an update on the coronavirus job retention scheme (“CJRS”) – this update refers to calls to selected employers to discuss their claims. We have contacted HMRC to ascertain more details on this and will publish on receipt. 

The JRB will be a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the CJRS for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021. The bonus is designed to provide additional support to retain employees. 

To be eligible, employees will need to: 

  • earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December, and January; 

  • have been furloughed at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; and 

  • have been continuously employed up until at least 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021. 

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate Real Time Information data to 31‌‌‌ ‌January has been received. More information about this scheme will be available by 31‌‌‌ ‌July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn. 

HMRC has also sent the below message about the CJRS 

Updates on CJRS scheme 

We would also like to make you aware of some key dates on the CJRS scheme that might affect your clients: 

Claiming for employees furloughed on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June 

You or your clients need to claim by 31‌‌‌ ‌July for employees furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for periods ending on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June. 

Get ready for changes from 1‌‌‌ ‌August 

Employers will no longer be able to use a CJRS grant to cover National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed employees from 1‌‌‌ ‌August. You or your clients can submit August claims in advance, from 20‌‌‌ ‌July. 

Working out your claims 

You or your clients can use our online examples and calculator to help work out what you can claim, for claims ending on or before 31‌‌‌ ‌July. From 10‌‌‌ ‌July you will also be able to use these to help you work out claims ending on or before 31‌‌‌ ‌August. Search for 'calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌‌.UK. 

Made a mistake on your claim? 

You or your clients can now delete a claim online within 72 hours of submitting it. Search 'claim for wages through Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌‌.UK. 

Calls to customers 

We are contacting selected employers to discuss their claims. These calls will be to check they haven’t made any mistakes and to help make sure they’re claiming the correct amount. 

Further support 

Live webinars on changes to the scheme and how they impact you and your clients are available to book online – search 'help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus' on GOV‌‌‌.UK. Please leave our phone lines open for those who need them most. 

Protect yourself from scams 

Stay vigilant about scams which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search 'scams' on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.” 

The guidance for the CJRS was also updated last week. The table below details the changes:-  

 

Page title

Changes

 

All Pages

  • Call out box to be updated on 08/07/2020 to reflect announcement of Job Retention Bonus. The Job Retention Bonus was announced on 8 July. More information can be found in the government’s Plan for Jobs.

1

Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Employee Page)

  • Added wording to 'while you are on furlough' section to make clear that your employer can continue to claim for you while you are serving a statutory notice period.

2

Check if you can claim for your employee's wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Adjusted text to add clarity to 'Paying employee taxes and pension contributions.'
  • Added wording to section on employee rights to make clear that you can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period.

3

Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Structural changes
  • section on claiming for individuals who are not classed as employees moved to new separate page that will be linked to.
  • page content restructured under revised headings for a more logical layout.
  • Added wording to section on redundancy to make clear that you can continue to claim for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period.

4

Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Wording added to make clear that HMRC will not decline or seek repayment of any grant based solely on the particular choice between fixed or variable approach to calculating usual hours, as long as a reasonable choice is made.

5

Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Adjusted wording to reflect that the calculator can now be used to calculate what you can claim for in a claim period ending on or before 31 August.
  • Wording around the full calculation example improved and includes link to new full example for August.
  • Wording added to section on 'working how much you can claim for employer NICs' clarifying steps to take if your employee's pay period goes beyond 30 June.

6

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Wording added to support new functionality that allows users to delete a claim up to 72 hours after they have made it. (Published in support of service 02/07/20)
  • Wording relating to what you must use the grant for in 'after you have claimed' section adjusted to add clarity.
  • Detail on information needed if claiming for 100 or more employees improved and aligned with section above.
  • Wording added to reflect that we are developing a process to recover overclaimed grant amounts through the tax system.

7

Reporting employees' wages to HMRC when you've claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Adjusted the wording to make clearer that both employee and employer National Insurance contributions have to be paid to HMRC on the full amount.

8

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

 

9

Examples of how to calculate your employees' wages, National Insurance contributions and pension contributions

 

10

Full Calculation Example

  • Introduction text and layout tweaked
  • New full example included for August in support of calculator update.

11

Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back

 

12

Individuals you can claim for that are not employees

  • This is a new page has content which was removed from 'check which employees' about the eligibility 'individuals that are not employees' that is not frequently needed and so can be separated out to reduce the length of core page.