Furloughed Employees – HMRC portal to open on Monday 20 April 2020

HMRC have confirmed that their online portal through which businesses can apply to receive a grant in respect of furloughed employees’ salaries under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), will be available from Monday 20 April 2020. HMRC have also said that claims will be paid within 6 working days – of course, that remains to be seen.

However, the sooner a claim is made, the sooner HMRC can pay the claims. It is therefore recommended that your payroll department/agents start to collate the information that they will need now so that they are ready to submit your application on 20 April 2020.

HMRC have advised that the following will be required:

  • a 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’
  • be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for ‘PAYE Online for employers’
  • the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:
    • name
    • National Insurance number
    • claim period and claim amount
    • PAYE/employee number (optional)
  • 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.

The government has extended employee eligibility from 28 February to 19 March 2020. This means that employers can claim for furloughed employees that were employed provided that the employees were on the employers’ PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI (real-time information) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.

Whilst this update only relates to the administration of the government grant under the CJRS, there are many other aspects of the scheme we can advise upon. If you would like any assistance in this regard or in respect of any other employment issues, please contact Elizabeth Bartle or your usual contact at the firm.