Primark refuses £30 million government job retention bonus

Primark refuses £30 million government job retention bonus

Fashion and homeware retailer Primark has made the decision to not use the government’s job retention bonus scheme during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, foregoing a £30 million payment.

In its July 2020 mini-Budget, the government introduced a bonus scheme, rewarding UK employers with a £1,000 payment for each furloughed employee it returns to work and remains within the business through to the end of January 2021.

However Primark, who furloughed 30,000 employees in March 2020, will not be taking advantage of this scheme and has returned all of its employees to full pay at 157 stores across the UK.

Under the job retention scheme, the government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees wages, capped at £2,500 until October 2020, however, employers will need to start paying national insurance and pension contributions, representing 5% of employment costs, from August 2020.

A spokesperson at Primark, said: “I can confirm that Primark does not intend to take advantage of support under the Job Retention Bonus announced by the Chancellor this week.

“The business removed its employees from government employment support schemes in the UK and Europe in line with the reopening of the majority of its stores. The organisation believes it should not be necessary therefore to apply for payment under the bonus scheme on current circumstances.”