Employers will be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee they have previously received a grant for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021.

To be eligible, the employee must have received earnings in November, December and January, and must have been paid an average of at least £520 per month, and a total of at least £1,560 across the three months.

Employers will be able to claim the bonus after they have filed PAYE information for January 2021, and the bonus will be paid from February 2021. More detailed guidance, including how employers can claim the bonus online will be available by the end of September.

What employers need to do now:

• ensure all employee records are up to date

• accurately report employees’ details and wages on the Full Payment Submission (FPS) through the Real Time Information (RTI) reporting system

• make sure all CJRS claims have been accurately submitted and you have told about any changes needed (for example if you’ve received too much or too little).

Reminder of changes to CJRS

From 1 August 2020 the CJRS continues to provide grants for furloughed employees, but no longer funds employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pensions contributions. Employers now have to make these payments from their own resources for all employees, whether furloughed or not.

Claimed too much in error?

If you have claimed too much for a CJRS grant and have not repaid it, you must notify HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

• 90 days after receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to

• 90 days from when circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant

• 20 October 2020 if you received CJRS money you’re not entitled to, or if your circumstances changed on or before 22 July.

Employers who fail to do this may have to pay a penalty and, whilst HMRC recognise that mistakes do happen, particularly in these challenging times, they are committed to act against anyone who deliberately sets out to defraud the system or claims money they aren’t entitled to.

For the most up to date advice check with gov.uk or if you’re considering the benefits of outsourcing your payroll, please get in touch with Karen Thomson on 0808 144 5575 or email karen.thomson@armstrongwatson.co.uk