international employment law firm alliance L&E Global
United Kingdom

UK: Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now Open

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), announced by the UK government on Friday 20 March 2020, is designed to support employers in paying employees’ salary for those who would otherwise be laid off during the coronavirus pandemic. The CJRS opened for claims on 20 April 2020 and will run until the end of June 2020.

Claims under the CJRS must be made by employers online. Key points on making a claim include:

  • Employers can only claim for periods when their employee is on furlough
  • Employers cannot make more than one claim during a claim period – they should make their claim shortly before or during running payroll
  • Employers must claim for all employees in each period at one time – they cannot make changes to their claim once it is submitted
  • Employers can make their claim in anticipation of an imminent payroll run, at the point they run their payroll or after they have run their payroll. Claims can be backdated to 1 March 2020 or any subsequent date from which employees were furloughed. A claim cannot start any earlier than the date the employee was first furloughed. This is relevant to employees who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer between 28 February and 19 March and have been rehired
  • Employers should keep records of any claim made under the CJRS, the amount claimed for each employee and the period each employee is furloughed.

Key issues that arise out of making a claim include:

  • HMRC will check the claim, and if the employer is eligible, pay it to the employer by BACS to a UK bank account
  • Employers will, supposedly, receive payment six working days after making an application – so if they wish to receive a payment from the scheme by the end of the month, employers must submit their claim at least six working days in advance of this for the money to clear into their bank account in time
  • Employers must pay the full amount they are claiming to their employee in the form of money, even if their company is in administration. If they are not able to do that, employers must repay the money to HMRC. The same applies in relation to employer NICs and employer pension contributions that employers claim – these must be paid in full or the money must be repaid to HMRC
  • Employers must report the amount of grant they receive and pay to an employee through Real Time Information, in the same way they would report their normal pay and they should make these submissions on or before the date they pay their employee
  • HMRC payments may be withheld or need to be repaid in full if the claim is based on inaccurate information or found to be fraudulent.

Practical point

HMRC has published guidance and a guide for employers, which employers should read carefully before making a claim and ensure that they have all the required information ready.

Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Work out 80% of your employees’ wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers



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For more information please contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at