Incentivising job retention

Later this year a new Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 per employee will be available, as an incentive to encourage employers to retain their furloughed staff after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) comes to an end on 31 October 2020. The bonus can be claimed for all eligible employees, including company directors and agency workers. A claim under the new Job Support Scheme (running for six months from 1 November 2020) will not affect eligibility for the bonus.


The one-off payment of £1,000 will be given for every previously furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. But the bonus will only apply to those employees who have been legitimately furloughed.

  • Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month (the NIC lower earnings limit) on average between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 – therefore a total of at least £1,560 across the three months. However, there must be some earnings in each of the three months.
  • The employee must not be serving a contractual or statutory notice period which started before 1 February 2021.
  • The employer must comply with their RTI payroll reporting obligations through to 31 January 2021.

Only those earnings reported under the employer’s RTI (real time information) payroll will count towards the £520 a month average minimum earnings. For directors especially, it will be important they are paid sufficient salary each month.