Coronavirus: Job Retention Scheme goes live

Online portal to claim wages for furloughed staff has been launched

CLAIMS for wages of furloughed staff can now be submitted online after the UK Government launched its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme this morning.

Employers can submit applications at to claim for 80% of the wage costs of staff placed on furlough due to the coronavirus pandemic.

HMRC said the new online application service can handle up to 450,000 applications an hour. Employers should then receive the money to pay their employees within six days, which it said will enable them to meet the April payroll.

The launch comes after HMRC contacted two million employers on Friday outlining the information they will require to submit a claim. Employers require a Government Gateway ID and password; and must be enrolled for PAYE online – both of which are accessible via the website.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on April 17 that the scheme would be extended by a month, meaning the Job Retention Scheme will now be open until the end of June.

Employers making a claim will then be required to submit:

  • their employer PAYE reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • National Insurance numbers for the employees on furlough
  • Names of the employees on furlough
  • Payroll/works number for the employees on furlough
  • their 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 three consecutive weeks)
  • their bank account number and sort code
  • their contact name
  • their phone number

Employers are able to claim for any employees that were on their company’s PAYE payroll on or before March 19 of this year and were furloughed any time between February 28 and March 19.

If an employee was made redundant on or after February 28, they can be re-hired and furloughed and 80% of their wage claimed for through the scheme. Employees can be placed on furlough multiple times, but each time must be for a minimum of three consecutive weeks.