Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Step-by-step guide to claiming

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guide for employers

On 17 April 2020, HMRC published a step-by-step guide for employers to claim for their employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Here is a link to the .gov.uk’s guidance.

Please see our CJRS overview for further details of the scheme and eligibility.

Key points to note from the step-by-step guide are:

  • The scheme for claiming under the CJRS will open on 20 April 2020.
  • Payment will be received six working days after making an application. To receive payment before the end of the month, your claim must be submitted at least six working days in advance for the money to clear into your bank account.
  • You can only make one claim during a claim period, which should be made shortly before or during running the payroll.  You must claim for all employees in each period at one time as you cannot make changes to your claim.
  • The application needs to be done in one session. There is currently no save and return option.  Sessions will time out after 30 minutes of activity.
  • If making a claim through an agent, ensure to tell them which bank account you want the funds to be paid into. This should be your bank account and not your agent’s to ensure that you receive the funds as soon as possible.
  • If making the claim yourself, ensure to have all required information ready before you access the system to make the claim (see above regarding the inability to make changes to a claim and sessions timing out after 30 minutes inactivity).
  • You will need details of the total claim for the period, analysed between:
    • The total amount being paid to furlough employees (80% of salary before tax per employee up to a maximum of £2,500)
    • The total employer pension contributions (up to 3%)
    • The total employer NICs
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  • The general principle to determine each of the gross pay, employer NICs and employer pension contributions for a full-time or part-time employee on a set salary is to time apportion between the normal working and furlough periods within that claim period.An example of how to do this is provided in the HMRC step-by-step guide as well as a link to further guidance for employees with more complex contracts and variable pay.
  • To access the claim system, you or your agent will need to have (or apply for):
    • A Government Gateway ID and password.
    • An active PAYE enrolment.
  • Once you have submitted the claim, you will see a confirmation screen with a claim reference number. Ensure to print this screen or note down the reference number as you will not receive a confirmation e-mail.
  • You or your agent should retain the calculations that form the basis of your claim in case further information is required by HMRC.
  • Neither you nor your furloughed employees should contact HMRC within the six working day period that HMRC will take to verify, process and pay your claim as HMRC will not be able to provide any assistance in that period and your enquiry will slow down their process and ability to support as many businesses as possible.

See our post from 5 June for an update on the changes announced by the government.

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