Guidance updated 20th April 2020

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) portal is now live. The portal asks the employer to enter the following details:

  • The total claim value
  • The total value of the Employers NI being claimed
  • The total value of the minimum Employers Pension being claimed
  • The start and end date of the claim period
  • The NI Number, Payroll Number, Full Name of each employee (you do not have to enter the detail of the amount claimed per employee)

Once the details have been submitted you will be provided with a reference number which should be retained.

The claim portal can be accessed here

Update 15th April 2020

Phase 3 are constantly monitoring the information being provided in relation to the Coronavirus job retention scheme for our clients. The latest changes are summarised here for you. The full guidance is available here.

The most significant change in the guidance issued today is that the date of inclusion has been moved to the 19th march instead of the 28th February. This means employees who have joined the business after 28th Feb but on or before 19th March are now eligible for the scheme.

The employee must have been included in an FPS in the March payroll run confirming their start date of the 19th March or before. 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 the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.

This also means the date at which the reference salary (the salary the Furlough payment is based on) may change as the guidance now states it should be the payment made in their last payment before 19th March (which for weekly or mid-month payrolls could mean a different pay period to February 2019).

If, based on previous guidance, you have calculated your claim based on the employee’s salary as at 28 February 2020 (and this differs from their salary in their last pay period prior to 19 March 2020) you can choose to still use this calculation for your first claim.

The guidance has some small updates in relation to those whose pay varies too, in that there is now confirmation that if the employee had worked for less than 12 months then claim the average earnings since they have started work until the date they are Furloughed.

If they have been employed for less than a month, work out a pro rata for their earnings so far, and claim for 80%.

The guidance on ‘regular payments’ has also been updated which now means you can claim for any regular payments you are obliged to pay your employees. This includes wages, past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments. However, discretionary bonus (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments should be excluded.

Until now the guidance on Salary Sacrifice has been limited, the reference salary should not include the cost of non-monetary benefits provided to employees, including taxable Benefits in Kind. Similarly, benefits provided through salary sacrifice schemes (including pension contributions) that reduce an employee’s taxable pay should also not be included in the reference salary. Where the employer provides benefits to furloughed employees, this should be in addition to the wages that must be paid under the terms of the Job Retention Scheme.

Finally, there has been further information provided about the claiming process.

To claim, you will need:

  • your employer PAYE reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • National Insurance Numbers for the furloughed employees
  • Names of the furloughed employees
  • Payroll/employee number for the furloughed employees (optional)
  • your 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 3 consecutive weeks)
  • your bank account number and sort code
  • your contact name
  • your phone number

If you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff you will be asked to enter details of each employee you are claiming for directly into the system – this will include their name, National Insurance number, claim period and claim amount, and payroll/employee number (optional).

If you have 100 or more furloughed staff you will be asked to upload a file with the information rather than input it directly into the system. We will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods

The file should include the following information for each furloughed employee: name, National Insurance number, claim period and claim amount, payroll/employee number (optional).

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

For help and support with all things payroll, and information on our payroll services or consultancy offering please feel free to get in touch.