The Chancellor announced a Job Retention Bonus Scheme earlier this month. The details of the policy that have published by the government are noted below:   

“Job Retention Bonus – The government will introduce a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021. Payments will be made from February 2021. Further detail about the scheme will be announced by the end of July.” 

Full details on the scheme can be found here.

Flexible furlough Update

Please find below some useful guidance and reminders about flexible furlough scheme: 

  • Employers are required to keep records of the actual hours worked by any employees on flexible furlough arrangements for a period of six years;
  • It is advisable for employers to confirm to the employee in writing of the hours it requires the employee to work under the flexible furlough scheme;
  • When making a claim under the flexible furlough scheme, employers will need to report both hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period. If an employer is making a claim in advance of the payroll date, they will need to be certain of the hours that the employee who is flexibly furloughed will work between the date on which the claim is made and the end of the claim period;
  • Employers may furlough different groups and numbers of employees at different times but an employer can only make one claim during a claim period for each PAYE scheme it operates, subject to the exceptions for returning employees and those transferring under a TUPE transfer;
  • The guidance says that if an employer makes an error in a claim that has resulted in an over-claimed amount, they must pay it back to HMRC. This can be reflected in the employer’s next claim and the amount paid in respect of the next claim can be adjusted accordingly. If employers take this approach then they do not need to take any further action in respect of the amount over-claimed because it will be rectified in the next payment from HMRC, but a record of the adjustment should be kept for six years; and
  • Where the employer’s error has resulted in an underclaimed amount, employers must contact HMRC to amend their claim. In these circumstances, HMRC will conduct additional checks.

If you have any queries or need advice on any employment law related matter, please get in touch: Kerry Curd – Employment Law Partner, 01626 202404 or email kerrycurd@wbw.co.uk.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.