Coronavirus Hub

Job Retention Bonus

With the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to March 2021, the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) will not be paid in February 2021.

Instead a retention incentive will be deployed 'at the appropriate time'. The purpose of the JRB was to encourage employers to keep people in work until the end of January 2021 but as the CJRS is now being extended, the policy intent of the JRB no longer applies.

The basic elements of the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) - as originally proposed in July 2020 - are as follows:

  • The JRB can be claimed by employers in respect of each employee who has been on furlough at some point and remains employed, and not under notice (statutory or contractual), on 31 January 2021.
  • HMRC will make a payment of £1,000 to the employer for each eligible employee.
  • The JRB is an incentive for employers to retain staff after the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and does not have to be passed to the employee.
  • To be eligible, the employer must have paid a salary of at least £1,560 to the employee between 6 November 2020 and 5 February 2021.
  • Employers cannot claim the JRB where they have repaid the full CJRS grant to HMRC, regardless of the reason, or made an incorrect CJRS claim in respect of the employee and they were not eligible under that scheme. No JRB claim may be made ‘if it is abusive or is otherwise contrary to the exceptional purposes’ of the CJRS or the JRB.
  • Employers who take advantage of the Job Support Scheme can claim the JRB.
  • New employers can also claim for employees who have TUPE’d before 31 October 2020 and who have been furloughed by their new employer, those returning from family leave or from being a military reservist after 10 June 2020 and who were then furloughed are also eligible, as well as those on fixed-term contracts provided they meet the other criteria.
  • Employers must have:
    • complied with their obligations to pay and file PAYE accurately and on time under the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system for all employees
    • maintained enrolment for PAYE online
    • a UK bank account
  • A claim for the JRB needs to be presented in a 6-week window between 15 February and 31 March 2021 (further guidance on the actual mechanics of this are awaited).

The legal underpinning of the JRB can be found in Part 2 of the Schedule to the Treasury Direction.

Two guidance documents relating to the JRB have been published: