Since March 2020, the government began announcing a stream of temporary new measures to support individuals and businesses from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the plans were introduced, they were not yet ready for people to access and more time was required for implementation.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was quickly included as part of the Chancellor’s £multi-billion support package in response to the number of businesses that were ordered to close and, in a bid to protect as many people’s jobs as possible. The CJRS enables employers to place employees on furloughed worker status where they are not required to work but would still receive 80% of their wages provided by the government, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The scheme was initially available for 3 months but as of 12 May 2020, has been extended further until end of October. Employers have been informed that they are able to place employees on furlough but will be unable to claim and receive payment for the wages until end of April.
The portal to report and claim payment for furloughed workers is now due to open 20 April.
How the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will work
- The portal is now open and available to access here.
- Employers will start to receive first payments on Thursday 30th April 2020
- Payment is expected to be made within 4 – 6 working days of submission of data to allow for HMRC to check for fraudulent claims
- The portal has been tested and HMRC claim it can handle up to 450,000 claims per hour, however, be aware that glitches may still occur as it is a new system
- The first claim will include payment of salaries backdated to 1 March 2020 however employers are expected to have been continuing to pay employees their salaries to this point
- Employers will be able to submit claims 14 days ahead of monthly payroll in order to receive payment ahead of time
- The scheme has now been extended from employees who were put on PAYE from 28 February 2020 to include any new employees who were added to the payroll from 19 March 2020
- Employers are warned that retrospective investigations will likely be made to uncover fraudulent claims made during this period
- HMRC will not be accepting any queries from employees with regards to their pay and this must be dealt with by the employer or payroll agent
Instructions on how to claim payment from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Claims can only be made online via the portal which will be available from Monday 20 April 2020
- You will need your Government Gateway ID and password.
- You will need to be enrolled for PAYE online.
- Collect the following information for each furloughed employee you are claiming for: name, national insurance number, claim period and claim amount
- If you are claiming for less than 100 furloughed staff, you will need to input the information directly into the online system for each employee individually
- Where you are claiming for more than 100 furloughed staff you will be able to upload a file with information on each employee so long as it is in one of these file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.
- You are able to use the portal yourself and make a claim for your furloughed staff but if you choose to use an agent authorised to act for you on PAYE matters (such as your accountant), you will need to provide them with a UK bank account that you would like the payment to be made into
- You need to keep all records and calculations of these claims
We will continue to provide updates on any new information as we receive them. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require help with your payroll.