Over this last week, the Government has again set out further clarification of how the Job Retention Scheme is intended to work and certain specific changes to the Scheme that have been made since the last update.

Please note that earlier today the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced  that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be available for another month until the end of June

The chancellor said the salary scheme would be extended again “if necessary

As previously, we must caution that whilst again more detailed guidance is welcome, there still remains uncertainty. Presumably we will know more soon….

Should you want to review the latest Scheme details yourself please follow this link

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

In the interim, we have tried to pick up some of the core detail provided in the latest announcement.

 

  1. Do We Know When The Portal Is Going Live?

YES – Apparently from Monday 20th April 2020.

  • Do not try to access it before this date as it will not be available!
  • Detailed guidance on how to calculate and process claims will not be available until the portal is opened and therefore please allow time for interpretation and distribution of the appropriate updates from the software houses before we can advise you further.

 

  1. How To Claim

The Government has confirmed:

  • the only way to make a claim is online;
  • the service should be simple to use;
  • Any support you need will be available on GOV.UK
    1. this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim
  • if you have
    1. fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee
    2. if you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; HMRC have confirmed that they will accept the following file types: .xls; .xlsx; .csv; .ods.

 

  1. When Will The Claim Be Paid Out?

The Government has confirmed that claims will be paid within 6 working days. As they are expecting a huge workflow, HMRC have advised:

  • You should not contact HMRC unless it is absolutely necessary;
  • Any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or through the webchat service

 

  1. Can I Make The Claim Myself?

You will be able to make the claim yourself, although the Barrons Team will be available to support and assist if required, as well as to undertake the calculations on your behalf if required. 

Clients of our bureau service will already be receiving information from us to assist with identifying what is required to make a claim.

 

  1. What If (My) Employees Have Queries?

HMRC have indicated that will not answer any queries from employees – they will be directed to refer these to you, as their employer, directly.

 

  1. What Changes Have Been Announced?

The Government has amended the eligibility criteria relating to which employees are entitled to be considered under the Job Retention Scheme:

  • You can now claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 (previously 28th February 2020) and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date;
    1. Please note that this means that you must have made an RTI submission notifying HMRC of a payment to that employee on or before 19 March 2020
    2. Hence employees that were taken on between 1st March and 19th March as new monthly paid employees or (for instance) weekly paid employees working on a week in hand basis will still not qualify under the Scheme.
  • It remains the case that 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 you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

 

  1. What Do I Need To Have To Be Able To Make A Portal Claim?

In addition to the previous announcement covered by our last Update on the Job Retention Scheme you will need:

  • a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password
    1. if you don’t already have a GG account, you can
  • be enrolled for PAYE online
    1. if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so now, or
    2. by going to GOV.UK and searching for ‘PAYE Online for employers’
  • the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:
    1. Employee name.
    2. National Insurance number.
  • Claim period and claim amount.
  1. PAYE/employee number (optional).
  • You will also need for the company / business you are claiming for:
    1. your ePAYE reference number;
    2. the number of employees being furloughed;
  • the claim period (start and end date);
  1. amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks);
  2. your bank account number and sort code;
  3. your contact name and phone number;
  • to calculate the amount you are claiming.
  • HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.
    1. You must keep records for 5 years after you make a Claim under the Scheme

 

  1. If You Want An Agent To Act For You

Please note:

  • agents authorised to act for you on PAYE matters can make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password
  • you will need to tell your agent which UK bank account you want the grant to be paid into, in order to ensure funds are paid as quickly as possible to you.

Barrons has put together a helpful guide to running your business during the coronavirus crisis.