What to do now: Claiming your furlough grant
Follow these steps to ensure you're ready to claim your furlough grant through the HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal.
UPDATE: If you had previously applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and you had been rejected due to not being up to date with payments of tax liabilities, you may now be accepted if you apply again.
The HMRC have admitted that outstanding tax liabilities should not have been grounds to refuse an application to the scheme and will consider previously refused applicants again if a fresh application is received.
If you are not already registered for ePAYE, you should do so immediately by going to Register for online HMRC services and making your registration application.
Employers can submit grant claims for furloughed workers here. The information needed to claim is the same information which would be used in your normal payroll run, and you should make your claim either shortly before, or during a payroll run.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. Exempt from this rule are workers returning from family leave (maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental), meaning that it is possible to furlough these individuals for the first time after 10 June 2020 as long as their employer has previously used the scheme to furlough any other worker.
Employers will be able to claim for the following payments under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:
- Mileage Rate
- London Rate
- Responsibility money
- Productivity/Incentive Schemes
- Site specific payments
- Shift premia
- Call out
- Travelling time for those in receipt of lodging allowance
Employers will not be able to claim for:
- Benefits Credit
- Mileage Allowance
- Lodging Allowance
- Periodic return fares
Payments in respect of successful claims will be made 6 working days after claim submission. The government extended the scheme in its current form until the end of July 2020.
As an employer, you can make this claim yourself, or if you have an agent with authorisation to act on your behalf in PAYE matters online, they may submit your claim. If an agent is making the claim, the grant funds should still be paid into the employer’s account.
In order to access the system, you or your agent must have:
- A Government Gateway ID number and password
- An active PAYE scheme
To make a claim, the following are needed:
- to be registered for PAYE online
- the employer’s UK bank account number and sort code
- the billing address on the employer’s bank account
- the employer’s PAYE scheme reference number
- the number of employees being furloughed
- each employee’s National Insurance number
- each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
- the start date and end date of the claim
the full amounts that are being claimed for including:
- employee wages
- employer minimum pension contributions (for claims up to 31 July)
- the employer’s phone number
- contact name
- the number of usual hours the worker would work in the claim period
- the number of hours the worker has worked (or will work) in the claim period
- a record of the number of furloughed hours your employee has been furloughed in the claim period
Employers also need to provide either:
- their name
- Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference
- Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference
- company registration number
As of 1 July 2020, if you are making a claim for a part-time furlough grant you will need to have a record of the hours worked, the furloughed hours, and the total contracted hours.
You will need to work out the following three separate elements for the claim period.
- The total amount being paid to furloughed workers. You can claim for the appropriate percentage of your workers’ wages, up to the appropriate maximum value per month each
- The total employer National Insurance Contributions (pre-August 2020 only)
- The total employer pension contributions (up to 3%) (pre-August 2020 only)
From 1 August 2020, employers will be liable to pay all ER NICs and pension contributions.
Employers will need to calculate the amount they are claiming and should keep a record of how they calculated this value, ideally on a spreadsheet , for at least six years. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of an employer’s claim.
As has previously been the case when furloughing a worker, on each occasion you must gain written agreement to the arrangement, and retain this for at least six years. With effect from 1 July 2020, when moving to a part-time furlough arrangement, this can only be done after having gained written agreement from each worker to temporarily vary their hours due to coronavirus.
You can use the standard letter provided by SELECT here to inform your workers of the proposed new arrangements, and to request their consent.
You should keep records of the usual working hours of each worker you claim for, and the hours of work they completed versus the hours you intend to claim for through the furlough grant. This information will be required when making a part-time furlough claim.
Workers must receive no less than 80% of their referenced pay through government and employer contributions combined, and no fees should be deducted, nor should any negotiated lower amount be paid.
For more information and examples on how these values are calculated, please see the Government’s guidance here.
HMRC have also provided YouTube webinars to give further advice about using the CJRS which can be accessed here.
Employers who previously submitted claims that overlapped calendar months will no longer be able to do so.
From 1 July 2020 a new reporting period of one week will apply – more frequent claims will not be accepted but the reporting period can be longer.
Please note that employers furloughing more than 100 workers must provide the following further details in their submission:
- Claim amount per furloughed worker
- Claim period for each furloughed worker
Employers who intend to make a CJRS grant claim in respect of more than 100 workers will need to submit the claim details in one of the following file formats:
You can search for information on how to convert between different file types using Google or YouTube.
HMRC have provided a claim calculator to allow employers to check their claims. You can access it here.
The government has issued guidance to employers around how to make Real Time Information submissions depending on whether you have:
- continued to pay your workers at the appropriate rates throughout their furlough period and before the grant payment arrived
- by express agreement with your workers, paid 20% of your intended 100% payments throughout the furlough period and before the grant payment arrived
- by express written agreement with your workers, not paid any wages throughout the furlough period until the grant payment arrived
Once you’ve claimed, you’ll get a claim reference number. HMRC will then check that your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by BACs into your bank account within 6 working days.
- keep a copy of all records for 6 years, including:
- the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
- the claim reference number for your records
- your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
- for employees you flexibly furloughed, usual hours worked including any calculations that were required
- for employees you flexibly furloughed, actual hours worked
- tell your employees that you have made a claim and that they do not need to take any more action
pay your employee their wages, if you have not already
You must pay the full amount you are claiming to your employee and pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance Contributions, even if your company is in administration.
If you’re not able to do that, you’ll need to repay the money back to HMRC. The same applies in relation to employer NICs and pension contributions you claim regarding your employee. The full amount you claim in respect of these must be paid or you will need to repay the money back to HMRC.
Please see the official guidance given here to clarify how to report the payments you have made in the correct way.
Once you have submitted your claim you will see a confirmation screen where a claim reference number will be shown. Print this screen or note down the claim reference number – you will not receive an email confirmation.
HMRC will check each employer’s claim, and if it is eligible, pay it to the employer by BACS to a UK bank account.
Always keep in mind that it is for you, or your agent, to check the accuracy of your claim.
HMRC have indicated that they hope the first furlough grant payments will be paid by 30 April 2020.