New guidance released on £9bn job retention bonus scheme for businesses

Rishi Sunak

Further information has been published today on how businesses can claim the government’s Job Retention Bonus, with millions set to benefit from the £9 billion package.

The scheme is designed to continue to support jobs through the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus by encouraging and helping employers to retain as many employees who’ve been on furlough as possible.

New guidance sets out the information employers who have furloughed employees need to know in order to claim the bonus from 15 February until 31 March 2021.

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Employers will still be able to claim even if they are receiving support from the recently announced Job Support Scheme, which will protect jobs in businesses facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus.

Chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak said: “The Job Retention Bonus is an additional boost employers can receive on top of the extensive support we’ve already put in place for businesses, including loans, grants and our new Job Support Scheme.

“I know how hard employers have worked to bring furloughed staff back, and this bonus, equal to a 20% wage subsidy, will help ensure they continue to retain them.”

The £1,000 Job Retention Bonus is equal to a 20% wage subsidy for the employment costs of the average person previously furloughed, but for those on lower incomes, it’s 40% of wage costs over the three-month period to the end of January 2021.

The scheme, launched by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Winter Economy Plan will run for six months and help keep employees in sectors facing reduced demand attached to the workforce.

The scheme will be open to employers across the UK even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme.

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Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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