Further updates on Job Retention Scheme

Coronavirus update on Wednesday 15 April

The Chancellor has made a Treasury Direction (under Sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020) which sets out that HMRC are responsible for the payment and management of amounts to be paid to businesses under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. 

It also makes a slight amendment to the payroll date and eligibility for the scheme and we’ve summarised some of the key points below:

In order to claim you must have:

  • created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • enrolled for PAYE online
  • a UK bank account

Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.

You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC on an RTI (real time information) submission on or before 19 March 2020.  This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made 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 the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.

Employees can be on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts. Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed.

If you made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 28 February 2020, you can re-employ them, put them on furlough and claim for their wages through the scheme. This applies to employees that were made redundant or stopped working for you after 28 February, even if you do not re-employ them until after 19 March. This applies as long as the employee was on your payroll as at 28 February and had been notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February 2020.

For full or part time employees on a salary – you can claim for the 80% of the employee’s salary, as in their last pay period prior to 19 March 2020.  If, based on previous guidance, you have calculated your claim based on the employee’s salary as at 28 February 2020 (and this differs from their salary in their last pay period prior to 19 March 2020) you can choose to still use this calculation for your first claim.

In terms of making a claim, the information you will need to supply is:

  • 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 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

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

Claims should be started from the date that the employee finishes work and starts furlough, not when the decision is made, or when they written to confirming their furloughed status.

The way you work out your employees’ wages is different depending on what type of contract they’re on, and when they started work.

If you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff you will be asked to enter details of each employee you are claiming for directly into the system – this will include their name, National Insurance number, claim period and claim amount, and payroll/employee number (optional).  If you have 100 or more furloughed staff you will be asked to upload a file with the information rather than input it directly into the system.

The online service to claim will be available on the gov.uk website but isn’t available yet – it’s expected to be up and running by the end of the month.

More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

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