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Could tourism businesses miss out on the Job Retention Bonus?

Could tourism businesses miss out on the Job Retention Bonus?

Thursday, 17 September 2020

After the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) ends on 31 October 2020, the Job Retention Bonus scheme will pay businesses a bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed worker still on the payroll in February 2021.

However, there are conditions to receiving the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) and, without a little bit of forward planning, we have concerns that some businesses may miss out. This is especially true for the tourism, hospitality and leisure sector where zero-hour contracts are used to meet business needs.

For example, a restaurant furloughed an employee (let’s call him Bob) from March until July and claimed under the JRS. After working during the busy summer season, the restaurant continues to employ him throughout the autumn and winter season.

Bob works some hours in September, October and November at weekends and works extra throughout December for the Christmas demand. January is quiet at the restaurant and Bob is happy to have a needed rest, knowing he will still be needed for a busy February and summer season. The employee earns £320 in November, £1,600 in December but works no hours in January.

The restaurant does not qualify for the £1,000 bonus as in order to qualify, Bob would need to have been paid a minimum of £1,560 throughout November, December and January. In addition, he would need to have received wages in each month.

However, if the business had employed Bob for a few hours in January, for example, to deep clean the premises, the business could have taken advantage of the £1,000 bonus.

Therefore, when looking at staffing and rotas throughout the autumn and winter, have in the back of your mind the criteria for the Job Retention Bonus scheme and make sure you don’t lose out by a small margin.

There are other criteria to receiving the JRB. More information about the JRB can be found in our recent blog on our COVID-19 hub and on the GOV.UK website.

Need help?

If you’d like any further information, please speak with a member of our tourism team. You can find contact details on the Our People section of the MHA Larking Gowen website. Alternatively, call 0330 024 0888 or email enquiry@larking-gowen.co.uk.

Sarah Pickett

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