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Coronavirus update Job Retention Bonus October 2020

Article Date: 05 October 2020

Coronavirus update Job Retention Bonus October 2020

HMRC issued a further announcement with regard to the job retention Bonus on 2 October 2020.

The link to the announcement is set out below;

Check if you can claim the Job Retention Bonus from 15 February 2021

The Bonus is payable to employers who have furloughed staff under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where the employee has been continuously employed from the end of the last claim period until 31 January 2021 subject to;

  1. The employee is not serving notice (redundancy, leaving employment or retirement) on 31 January 2021, excluding valid employment transfers under TUPE, and
  2. The employee received the minimum income in order to enable the employer to qualify for the bonus

The minimum income is £1,560 over the three month period in each of the periods 6 November 2020 – 5 December 2020, 6 December 2020– 5 January 2021 and 6 January 2021 – 5 February2021.

The bonus cannot be claimed until 15 February but in order to be able to do so the employer must;

  1. Comply in full with all PAYE obligations, and
  2. Keep the payroll (under Real Time information) up to date

The claim period will close on 31 March 2021.


The bonus looks to be a welcome upside for those who continue to employ staff post furlough. The question is whether this is a well-targeted payment – will those who can retain jobs be receiving a reward which they may do little to influence whereas those who can’t operate in a way to enable staff to return to work, possibly for no fault of their own, don’t receive payment.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that some employers have agreed that they will not claim the bonus. The reasoning behind this seems unclear. If the law permits taxpayers to claim the bonus, why would an employer not take proper advantage – one wonders if these employers are ones who have arranged their affairs such that their UK profits are not otherwise chargeable to Corporation Tax.

Ultimately, the bonus is a targeted measure that will cushion employer’s losses during lockdown. Like all targeted measures, there is no right or wrong answer; it is all a matter of political judgement. Only time will tell if this measure is successful.

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