In July 2020 Government announced plans to introduce a new Job Retention Bonus designed to provide additional support to employers who keep their furloughed employees in meaningful employment after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) ends on 31 October 2020. Employers will be entitled to receive a one off payment of £1,000 for every employee who was previously furloughed and remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021.

However, the Government guidance outlines that the Job Retention Bonus will only be available to employees that were eligible for the CJRS and ‘where a claim for an employee was incorrectly made, a Job Retention Bonus will not be payable.'

It is unclear whether this principle will be applied on a blanket basis to all employers who have incorrectly made a claim through the CJRS, or whether a differentiation will be made between innocent mistakes and furlough fraud.

It is hoped that the Government will offer further clarification on the issue in the coming weeks as many employers have factored the Job Retention Bonus into their financial planning.

This is a further reason why it is recommended that employers undertake a detailed audit of the claims made through the CJRS in order to identify whether any claims have been ‘incorrectly made’. If you would like further advice or guidance in relation to your audit please contact a member of the Brabners employment team.