Job Retention Bonus
- the Job Retention Bonus, worth up to £9 billion is set to support millions of employers who have kept on furloughed workers
- the bonus will work alongside newly announced Job Support Scheme and could be worth more than 60% of average wages of workers who have been furloughed – and are kept on until the start of February 2021
- businesses can claim for the Bonus from 15 February until the end of March
The scheme is designed to continue to support jobs through the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus by encouraging and helping employers to retain as many employees who’ve been on furlough as possible.
New guidance sets out the information employers who have furloughed employees need to know in order to claim the bonus from 15 February until 31 March 2021.
Employers will still be able to claim even if they are receiving support from the recently announced Job Support Scheme, which will protect jobs in businesses facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
The Job Retention Bonus is an additional boost employers can receive on top of the extensive support we’ve already put in place for businesses, including loans, grants and our new Job Support Scheme.
I know how hard employers have worked to bring furloughed staff back, and this bonus, equal to a 20% wage subsidy, will help ensure they continue to retain them.
The £1,000 Job Retention Bonus is equal to a 20% wage subsidy for the employment costs of the average person previously furloughed, but for those on lower incomes, it’s 40% of wage costs over the three-month period to the end of January 2021.
This new guidance ahead of the launch of the new Job Support Scheme. The scheme, launched by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Winter Economy Plan will run for six months and help keep employees in sectors facing reduced demand attached to the workforce.
Through the Job Support Scheme, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand. The scheme will be open to employers across the UK even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme.
Job Support Scheme
A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November to protect jobs where businesses are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.
Employers will continue to pay the wages for the hours staff work. For the hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one third of their usual wages (capped at £697.92 per month). Employers will need to meet their share of the pay for unworked hours, and all employer National Insurance contributions and statutory pension contributions, from their own funds. This means that employees will receive at least two thirds of their usual wages for the hours not worked.
To be eligible, employees must:
- be registered on PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee must have been made to HMRC on or before 23 September 2020
- work at least 33% of their usual hours. The government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold after the first three months of the scheme.
Further eligibility criteria is available on GOV.UK by searching ‘Job Support Scheme factsheet’.
The Job Support Scheme will be open to employers across the UK even if they have not previously applied under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which ends on 31 October.
The Job Support Scheme will start from 1 November and employers will be able to claim in December. Grants will be paid on a monthly basis.
The scheme will operate in addition to the Job Retention Bonus. Businesses can benefit from both schemes in order to help protect viable jobs.
For information on what is covered by the grant, which employers and employees are eligible, and how to claim, search ‘Job Support Scheme factsheet’ on GOV.UK.
SEISS Grant Extension
The government is continuing its support for millions of self-employed individuals by extending the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. Self-employed individuals and members of partnerships who are eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing trading but are experiencing reduced demand due to coronavirus (COVID-19), will be eligible for a further SEISS grant to provide support over the winter months.
The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021. It will be a taxable grant to cover 20% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total.
An additional second grant, which may be adjusted to respond to changing circumstances, will be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period from February to the end of April – ensuring our support continues right through to next year.
More information will be published in due course but in the meantime, you may find our factsheet helpful, search ‘SEISS Grant Extension factsheet’ on GOV.UK.