The coronavirus job retention scheme was introduced in March as one of many financial relief measures introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help the economy through the COVID-19 outbreak. The scheme has been hailed by many as a success, although there are still some issues with the system in its current format.
Under the terms of the scheme, an employer can place an employee on ‘furlough’.
During this time, the Government will pay an employee’s salary up to 80 percent of their monthly income, capped at £2,500 a month.
Although the employee will remain on their employer’s payroll, they are not allowed to complete any work for their employer while furloughed.
There is a similar scheme in place for self-employed people.
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Is the coronavirus job retention scheme open yet?
The coronavirus job retention scheme was first announced in March, but it took some time to get the application process up and running.
As of April, employers are now eligible to make a claim to the scheme via the Government website.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our unprecedented Job Retention Scheme will protect millions of jobs across the country and is now up and running.
“It’s vital that our economy gets up and running again as soon as it’s safe – and this scheme will allow that to happen.”
When does furlough end in the UK?
At the moment, an employer can only furlough staff under the scheme for up to three months.
However, depending on how long the coronavirus crisis continues for, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said the Government will consider extending the scheme.
An employee can be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks, and a maximum of three months presently.
Furlough pay can be backdated to March 1 if an employee was not working at this point, meaning the scheme will end on June 1.
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How can you make a claim to the coronavirus job retention scheme?
Before you apply, you will need to check whether you are eligible to make a claim, and you will also need to work out how much you need to claim for.
Any employer with a UK payroll and a UK bank account will be able to claim.
However, an employee must have been employed on March 19, 2020 and on the employer’s PAYE payroll on or before March 19, 2020.
This means an employer must have made an RTI submission on an employee’s behalf to HMRC on or before this date.
To make a claim, you will need:
- to be registered for PAYE online
- your UK bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
- your employer PAYE scheme reference number
- the number of employees being furloughed
- each employee’s National Insurance number
- each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
- the start date and end date of the claim
- the full amount you’re claiming for including employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
- your phone number
- contact name
You also need to provide either:
- your name (or the employer’s name if you’re an agent)
- your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference
- your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference
- your company registration number
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