The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme that allows employers to claim cash grants of up to 80% of wages (capped at £2,500) for furloughed workers was officially launched at 8am on 20 April 2020. By midnight at the end of the first day, HMRC reported that 185,000 claims had been submitted with over 1.3 million employees classed as furloughed at a value of some £1.5 billion. The opening of the scheme was 10 days ahead of the expected date of 30 April.

HMRC expects to pay the grant within six working days from the time an eligible claim is submitted. The Chancellor also recently announced that the scheme will now be available until the end of June 2020.

HM Government guidance on the scheme for employers sets out the following important information:

  • To be eligible for CJRS an employer must agree with the employee that they are a 'furloughed worker'.
  • Employees must be notified that they have been furloughed.
  • Employees must be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks.
  • The employee cannot do any work for the employer that has furloughed them.
  • You can claim 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per furloughed employee.
  • A separate claim is needed for each PAYE scheme.
  • You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before
    19 March 2020.
  • An RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been
    made on or before 19 March 2020.
  • You must have a UK bank account.

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