After the Job Retention Scheme
The Job Retention Scheme (JRS) is now expected to end on 30 November 2020; the (different) Job Support Scheme will then begin on 1 December 2020 (see https://crozierjones.co.uk/blogs/extended-job-support-scheme-from-1-november-2020/).
Before moving on from the JRS however, there are still some matters employers should consider.
JRS Claim Records
It is necessary to ensure you have maintained the records necessary to make your CJRS claims.
HMRC has confirmed that it will pursue firms to refund grants received if they cannot substantiate that their claims are valid. What is clear is that HMRC are convinced that fraudulent or mistaken claims have been made and they will be seeking refunds from claimants that cannot produce adequate records of compliance. Additionally, penalties of up to 100% of grants overclaimed could be levied.
Basically, you will need to maintain:
- A record of your reasons for believing that your business has been, and continues to be, adversely affected by coronavirus disruption.
- Written statements of agreement with all furloughed staff and any changes to those agreement – for example, if they transitioned to the flexible arrangement from July 2020.
- A record of hours worked, and hours furloughed if you have claimed under the revised flexible furlough scheme from July 2020.
- Adequate payroll records incorporating the furlough scheme grants paid to staff.
Job Retention Bonus
The Job Retention Bonus allows employers to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee they have furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and kept continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021. Employers do not have to pay this money to their employee.
To be eligible, employees must earn at least £1,560 between 6 November 2020 and 5 February 2021 and have received earnings in the November, December and January tax months. Employees must also not be serving a contractual or statutory notice period on 31 January 2021.
Employers can still claim the Job Retention Bonus if they make a claim for that employee through the Job Support Scheme, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria for both.
Employers will be able to claim the bonus from 15 February until 31 March, after they submit PAYE information for the period to 5 February 2021. For more information, including what you or your clients need to do now if you intend to claim the bonus, go to GOV.UK. More detailed guidance will be available by the end of January.