Job Retention Bonus Scheme applicable to agency workers

As part of the government’s proposals to protect jobs following the effects of coronavirus, they have introduced a Job Retention Bonus, to encourage employers to retain staff following the end of the furlough scheme on the 31st October 2020.

The Job Retention Bonus is a one off payment made to employers of £1000 for every employee, who has been furloughed and remains continuously employed until the 31st January 2021. To be eligible employees must earn an average of at least £520 per month between the 1st November 2020 and the 31st January 2021.

Whilst the government guidance in respect of the scheme refers to employees, it also states that employment agencies and umbrella companies can claim this bonus in respect of agency workers who have been furloughed and meet the eligibility criteria. Whilst not 100% clear, the intention appears to be that the bonus is available in respect of any person who has been furloughed rather than just employees.

Businesses who want to take advantage of this scheme will be able to make claims through the government’s website from February 2021 with more details on this being published at the end of September. Claims can be made for each eligible employee or agency worker and any payments made will be taxable.

If businesses intend to make claims under this scheme it is important that they ensure that all their records are up to date including; ensuring that they have accurately reported employees details and earnings on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system and that all claims in respect of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) have been accurately submitted with any necessary amendments having been notified to HMRC.

For further advice or assistance with the job retention bonus scheme or other matters relating to furlough please email the Lawspeed Covid Team on [email protected] or call 01273 236 236

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