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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to claim

15th April 2020

The government has recently announced that it plans for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to go live from 20 April 2020. As outlined in our previous article and updates, this scheme allows employers to reclaim 80% of the wage costs incurred on staff that have been furloughed.

What costs can be claimed for on furloughed staff

The scheme allows for 80% of employees’ gross wages may be claimed. This is capped at £2,500 per month per employee.

In addition, a claim may be made for the associated employer national insurance contributions, along with the employer pension contributions (up to the minimum automatic enrolment employer contribution).

Employees that can be claimed for

In short, the scheme is available to all employees who are on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. The cut-off date was originally 28 February 2020 but on 15 April 2020, the government announced this cut-off date will be revised to 19 March 2020

Eligible employees include full time, part time, agency and zero hour contract workers.

Agreeing to furlough workers

Any changes made to an employment contract must be done in agreement with the employee.

For an employer to be eligible for the scheme, they must have written to each furloughed employee confirming their status. A record of this communication must be retained for at least five years by the employer.

How to claim

HMRC is designing a new, online portal for employers to claim under the scheme. Testing of the portal commenced on 8 April 2020 and it is expected that this will be available by 20 April 2020.

The claim should be made by using the corresponding amounts in your payroll. This may be done shortly before or during the running of the payroll.

If it is necessary, you will need to reduce the wages of an employee to the 80% of their total salary before they are paid. Note, this adjustment will not be made by HMRC.

Information needed to make claim

The following details will need to be provided to HMRC when making a claim:

  • Your employer PAYE reference number
  • The number of employees being furloughed
  • National Insurance Numbers for the employees you want to furlough
  • Names of the employees you want to furlough
  • Payroll/works number for the employees you want to furlough
  • Your Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) or Corporation Tax UTR or
  • Company Registration Number
  • The claim period (start and end date)
  • Amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
  • Your bank account number and sort code
  • Your contact name
  • Your phone number

After the claim has been made

HMRC will check the claim and if they agree that you are eligible they will pay the amount direct into the nominated bank account.

Following this, a payment must be made to the employee for all the grant received for their gross pay. The payment must be made in the form of money.

Please let us know if you need any help with making a claim for your employees under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

We are here to help our clients during this challenging time and are regularly updating our latest news feed, business support fact sheets and useful links. These are now all accessible in one place at our Coronavirus Updates resource page.

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