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Updated: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Furlough Claims

The government’s portal for claiming furlough grants under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is expected to be ready to accept claims from 20th April.

HMRC are expecting phone demand to be beyond their capacity to offer a normal service. Therefore, claims will not be made by phone, it will be an online only service.

We have been advised that where Mitchell Charlesworth are the authorised agent to act on behalf of clients for PAYE matters, we will be able to claim on their behalf.

Therefore, for clients where Mitchell Charlesworth provide payroll services, we have started to pull the relevant information together ahead of the portal opening.

If you operate your own payroll, we recommend that you pull the necessary information together ahead of the service becoming active.

Mitchell Charlesworth have yet to see the data specification that HMRC will require in order to process a claim.  HMRC’s website says to make a claim the following is required:

  • Employer’s ePAYE reference number
  • Number of employees being furloughed
  • Claim period (start and end date)
  • Amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
  • Employer’s bank account number and sort code
  • Contact name
  • Contact phone number

However, HMRC’s recent communication to Mitchell Charlesworth says that employers will also need the following information for each furloughed employee in order to calculate the claim amount:

  • National Insurance number
  • Salary
  • National Insurance contributions
  • Pension contribution information

Therefore, there may be more to the claim process that HMRC have currently outlined.

Unfortunately, there is no payroll software that can automate the gathering of this data.  There are no predefined fields to mark-up which workers are furloughed, when furlough commenced or identify the furlough element of pay to HMRC.  Equally, calculating the furlough amount may not be a straightforward calculation.

We will continue to support all our clients as much as possible and may contact you for missing information or updating HMRC authorisation in order to assist with any claim.

Please contact your regular partner with any questions you may have concerning the above.