Today the Chancellor announced the introduction of the Job Retention Bonus.
This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.
To be eligible, employees will need to:
- earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
- have been furloughed by you at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- have been continuously employed by you up until at least 31 January 2021.
Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31 January has been received. More information about this scheme will be available by 31 July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn.
Other new measures announced
The Chancellor also announced other measures, including:
- the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme – during August, diners can get 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered
- VAT reduction – from 15 July until 12 January 2021, the UK government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol. This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos
- an increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold in England and Northern Ireland – increasing the threshold under which no SDLT is paid on the purchase of a main home from £125,000 to £500,000, with immediate effect until 31 March 2021.
For more information, search ‘plan for jobs’ on GOV.UK.
Updates on CJRS scheme
We would also like to make you aware of some key dates on the CJRS scheme that might affect you:
Claiming for employees furloughed on or before 30 June
You need to claim by 31 July for employees furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for periods ending on or before 30 June.
Get ready for changes from 1 August
You will no longer be able to use a CJRS grant to cover National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed employees from 1 August. You can submit your August claim in advance, from 20 July.
Working out your claims
You can use our online examples and calculator to help you work out what you can claim, for claims ending on or before 31 July. From 10 July you will also be able to use these to help you work out claims ending on or before 31 August. Search for ‘calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.
Made a mistake on your claim?
You can now delete a claim online within 72 hours of submitting it. Search ‘claim for wages through Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.
Calls to customers
We are contacting selected employers to discuss their claims. These calls will be to check they haven’t made any mistakes and to help make sure they’re claiming the correct amount.
Live webinars on changes to the scheme and how they impact you are available to book online – search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’ on GOV.UK. Please leave our phone lines open for those who need them most.
Protect yourself from scams
Stay vigilant about scams which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599.
I hope this information helps you and your business, and we’ll continue to keep you updated on scheme developments over the coming weeks.
Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary – HMRC