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  • Allison Houghton

COVID-19 UPDATE - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

What are the important updates to the scheme relating to employee eligibility?

  • you can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you will have made an RTI submission notifying HMRC of payment of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.

  • employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

More information on this can be found on GOV.UK.


How do I make a claim?


The online portal will be launched GOV.UK on Monday 20th April 2020, and NOT before. This will be the ONLY way to claim.

You can make a claim yourself even if you usually use an agent to manage your payroll on your behalf.

Claims will be paid within 6 working days, HMRC will not accept any queries from employers and cannot answer any queries from employees, they will need to raise these with their employer directly.

You will need to have the following before 20‌‌ April 2020:

  • Your Government Gateway (GG) ID and password (if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'HMRC services: sign in or register')

  • ensure you are enrolled for PAYE online and your employer PAYE Reference. (if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so now by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'PAYE Online for employers')

Employers should discuss with their staff and make any changes to the employment contract by agreement. Employers may need to seek legal advice on the process.

If sufficient numbers of staff are involved, it may be necessary to engage collective consultation processes to procure agreement to changes to terms of employment.

To claim, you will need:

  • your employer PAYE reference number

  • the number of employees being furloughed

  • National Insurance Numbers for the furloughed employees

  • Names of the furloughed employees

  • Payroll/employee number for the furloughed employees (optional)

  • your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference or Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference or Company Registration Number

  • the claim period (START & 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

You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.

  • if you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee

  • if you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; HMRC will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.

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