Furlough scheme cut-off date extended to 19 March

Rishi Sunak

More hospitality employees will able to receive support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) after the eligibility date was extended to 19 March 2020, the government announced yesterday

Under the scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last month, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month.

To qualify and to protect against fraudulent claims, individuals originally had to be employed on February 28 2020.

But following a review of the delivery system and to ensure the scheme helps as many people as possible, new guidance published today has confirmed the eligibility date has been extended to March 19 2020– the day before the scheme was announced.

Employers can claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020. This means that the employee must have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.

This change makes the scheme more generous while keeping the substantial fraud risks under control and is expected to benefit over 200,000 employees.

HMRC have been working at pace to delivering the scheme, which is due to be fully operational next week.

As you prepare to make a claim, please note:-

  • the online claim service will be launched on GOV.UK on 20‌‌ April 2020 – do not try to access it before this date as it won’t be available.

  • the only way to make a claim is online

  • you can make the claim yourself even if you usually use an agent.

  • claims will be paid within 6 working days; you should not contact HMRC unless it is absolutely necessary – any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or the HMRC webchat service.

  • HMRC cannot answer any queries from employees – they will need to raise these with you, as their employer, directly.

INFORMATION YOU WILL NEED BEFORE YOU MAKE A CLAIM.

In addition to the information in previous HMRC guidance, employers will need to have the following before the 20thof‌‌ April 2020:

  • 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:-

  1. Name.

  2. National Insurance number.

  3. Claim period and claim amount.

  4. 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; we will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.

If you want an agent to act for you, agents authorised to act for you on PAYE matters can make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password.   However you will need to tell or confirm with 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.

You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims.

 

 

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