Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to claim

Further to our previous article, the Government has now provided guidance on how businesses can make a claim to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The portal is set to go live on Monday 20th April 2020 with the first payments to be made on 30th April 2020. HMRC have asked that people do not try to access the portal before this date as it will not be available.

The only way to make a claim will be online. HMRC believe that the system will be simple to use and there will be support available if required.

Live testing on the system is already underway and HMRC are confident that the system has enough capacity to cope with the number of expected claims, although users may encounter queues at busy times.

Only one claim can be made per pay period, which may be monthly or weekly, and initial claims are expected to include some backdated claims from March.

Claims should be paid within 6 working days.

Employees should not contact HMRC directly regarding any questions they may have relating to the scheme. All questions should be directed to employers.

It has been confirmed that a claim can be made up to 14 days in advance of the pay date. So if the pay period runs to the end of each calendar month then a claim may be submitted 14 days before that date.

HMRC have confirmed that they are aware of the potential to abuse the grant system, for example by claiming furlough for employees that are still working. In order to combat this they will be opening a whistle blowing line to report such behaviour. Any breaches could result in claims not being paid and the possibility of criminal proceedings.

The Government has confirmed that the following information will be required in order to make a claim:

  • A Government Gateway ID and Password. If you do not have one you can apply for one online. If you use an agent to process your payroll you may be listed on their agent account and so you should check with them directly.
  • The sort code and account number of the bank account that the employer wishes the money to be paid into
  • Contact details for the person in the business that HMRC should call if they have any questions
  • Your Self Assessment UTR, Company UTR or Company Registration Number
  • Name, employee number and National Insurance number for each furloughed employee
  • The total amount to be claimed for each employee and the period of the furlough

If you use an agent to process your payroll they can make the claim on your behalf. You will need to speak to them in order to inform them of who has been furloughed, for how long they have been furloughed and if you are paying the 80% claimable amount or paying in excess of this. If you use a file only agent, where they file the necessary RTI information but do not act for you in other matters, they will not be able to make the claim for you and you will need to do it yourself.

Fairhurst will be providing an additional service to help any employers who require assistance with the submission of grant claims. If you would like more information about this then please email Rachel Hayden (

Please do not contact our payroll team in order to make your claim as they are focussing on processing the actual payrolls. Rachel should be your primary contact.