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Coronavirus Guidance Update

Article Date: 03 August 2020

Coronavirus Guidance 3rd August 2020

The Government announced details of the Job Retention Bonus (“JRB”).

The details are set out in the links below.

Further details of the Job Retention Bonus announced

Job Retention Bonus

The principals underpinning the JRB are as follows;

  1. The bonus is payable after a claimant files their January PAYE account


  1. It is available to employers who employ an employee at a rate of at least £520 per month on average in November 2020 through January 2021 (oddly HMRC are to publish further guidelines in September as to what can be included / what constitutes £520 per month)


  1. The employee must have been employed continuously from the time of the employers most recent furlough claim for that employee until 31 January 2021



Like all of the initiatives to try to combat the effect of COVID, the Chancellor is damned if he does and damned if he does not.

The Job Retention Bonus is no different.

Aside from the sideswipe by Jim Harra, CEO of HMRC, that it does not “offer value for money to the standards expected when managing public money” and to commentators in general arguing that it will release a windfall for those businesses who can bring back staff, the JRB does offer an incentive to employers to retain staff.

It may have been possible for the money to be targeted at specific sectors of the economy but whether this was considered or not, it also clear that the value of the JRB is modest as compared to the cost of employing an employee through July to January.

From August, employers will have to contribute toward the cost of furloughed staff wages. The decision to make good these costs will be made by reference to the needs of the business and not necessarily on the need to retain staff.

Unfortunately, we suspect that the JRB will not a significant consideration in the decisions taken in the next few days and weeks.

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