What is the Job Retention Bonus?

As part of its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the Government is introducing a one-off Job Retention Bonus. Employers will be eligible for a payment of £1,000 for every employee who has been furloughed at some point but is continuously employed until the end of January 2021.

For the employer to qualify for the bonus, the employee must earn, on average, above the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions (£520 per month) in the three-month tax period from 6 November 2020 to 5 February 2021.

The employee's total pay during the relevant three-month period must be at least £1,560. The employer must make at least one payment to the employee in each of the relevant tax months, and must report the payments to HM Revenue and Customs via real time information (RTI).

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from 15 February 2021 until 31 March 2021. The Government has said that guidance on how to access the online claim service will be published by the end of January 2021.