New Treasury Direction Modifying the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

19th October 2020 Employment

On 1st October a Treasury Direction was published which amended the terms of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) direction and also provided further details of the Job Retention Bonus Scheme and the requirements to qualify.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been amended to provide a 30th November 2020 deadline (previously the date had not been specified) for making claims for any period occurring within a CJRS month (July, August, September and October 2020). Employers must therefore ensure that they are up to date with their claims and aware of what needs to be claimed for prior to this specified deadline in order to avoid missing out on funding.

The purpose of the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus Scheme is to enhance and consolidate the CJRS by providing employers with additional financial support. The scheme will allow employers to claim a one off £1,000 taxable payment for each employee who underwent a period of furlough and following the end of the furlough scheme, is kept in continuous employment until 31st January 2021. The employee must have been furloughed at some point throughout the 19th March 2020 – 31st October 2020 period, they do not need to have been furloughed throughout the whole period.

In order to qualify an employer must; have a PAYE system registered on HMRC’s real time information system, have made a CJRS claim in respect of the employee in question and pay the employees the minimum income threshold (at least £1,560) between 6th November 2020 and 5th February 2021.

For an employee to qualify they must; have been furloughed correctly and have met the minimum income threshold of at least £1,560 in the months between 6th November 2020 and 5th February 2021 and not be serving their notice period with their employer on 31st January 2021.

It is important for employers to note that where you have paid back the grant amounts claimed for certain employees, you will not be able to claim the bonus, as these employees were not in fact paid through the scheme.

A claim for the bonus must be made between 15th February 2021 and 31st March 2021. The bonus will not be available for any claims made outside of this period.

There is relatively little guidance available currently as to how the scheme will function, however the government have confirmed that they will be updating their guidance in January 2021 ahead of employers being able to claim the bonus from 15th February 2021. It will remain to be seen at this time what the uptake will be like for the scheme and whether there will be an issues for employers.

If you need advice or have any queries about dealing with any workplace issues arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact Paul Chamberlain or another member of the employment team at JMW Solicitors LLP on 0345 646 0342.

This note is for general guidance only and should not be used for any other purpose. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

JMW Solicitors is a Limited Liability Partnership. The copyright in this note is owned by JMW. Any reproduction of this article should be credited to JMW. All rights reserved.

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Grace O'Driscoll is a Trainee Solicitor located in Manchesterin our Trainee Solicitors department

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