With cases rising, and local lockdowns becoming the norm, it seems that we are quickly backpedalling into those murky months of March and April. In the same vein, the Government has revived its tradition of issuing guidance and directions late on a Friday afternoon, just as the first thoughts of a timely log-off and relaxing start to the weekend are trickling through the nation’s workforce.
The latest Treasury Direction, issued last Friday (2 October 2020), provides further information, and a statutory underpinning to the last weeks of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘CJRS’) and the Job Retention Bonus (‘JRB’). Below are your key questions, answered.
Any claim under the CJRS (which comes to a close on 31 October 2020) must be lodged at HMRC no later than 30 November 2020.
The purpose of the JRB is to ‘enhance and consolidate the purpose of the CJRS’, which is to ‘continue the employment of employees whose employment activities have been adversely affected by the coronavirus’.
In a nutshell, the JRB is a £1,000 one-off taxable bonus, payable to an employer, for each eligible employee whom it has furloughed and kept continuously employed until 31 January 2021.
The period for claiming the JRB begins on 15 February 2021 and ends on 31 March 2021. The Government guidance will be updated in January 2021 with details of how to access the online claim service.
Yes. You can claim under both schemes.
You will not be able to claim for the JRB in respect of any employees for whom you paid back to HMRC a grant under the CJRS, whatever the reason for the repayment.
You must be a ‘qualifying employer’, in that your business must have:
If you are a ‘qualifying employer’, you can claim for employees who:
It is important to note that 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 criteria, which we have set out above, apply regardless of:
Only those payments recorded as ‘taxable pay’. This means pay which is reported to HMRC as a single figure through Full Payment Submissions via RTI.
In short, yes, you will no longer be eligible to claim.
In most cases, it is likely.
To claim the JRB for those employees who have been transferred under TUPE, you must have furloughed and successfully claimed for them under the CJRS, as their new employer. They must also meet all the usual eligibility criteria for the JRB. In effect, this means that you will not be able to claim the JRB for any employees who are transferred to you after the CJRS closes on 31 October 2020.
It may also be possible for you to claim for the JRB in circumstances where the PAYE business succession rules apply, or where the employees were associated with the transfer of a business from the liquidator of a company in compulsory liquidation, where TUPE would have otherwise applied, but for the liquidation.
In addition to ensuring that your business, and your employees, meet the eligibility criteria set out above, you should:
This article is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Please contact James Baker or Rachael Lloyd to discuss any issues you are facing.