In a nutshell, employers can claim a £1,000 bonus for each employee who has been furloughed (whether currently or previously) and remains employed on 31 January next year. No bonus is payable where, at this date, an employee has been issued with notice terminating their employment.
Each employee must also have been paid a salary of at least £1,560 between 6 November 2020 and 5 February next year. The effect of this is to ensure that unscrupulous employers cannot keep employees with little or no hours on their books and make trivial payments to them in order to simply claim the £1,000 bonus.
The bonus is payable by HMRC to employers who must make a claim within the 6 week period between 15 February and 31 March 2021.
It should be remembered that this bonus can be retained by employers and does not have to be passed on to employees. However with the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in sight and new lockdown restrictions implemented on almost a daily basis affecting most, if not all employers’ balance sheets, it remains to be seen whether they will be incentivised to retain employees during this uncertain time simply to receive this bonus.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.