Businesses which made use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS or furlough) during the November lockdown have until 14th December to submit claims, HMRC has warned.
The CJRS scheme was expanded in November to take into account the many people who would not be able to continue working due to enhanced coronavirus restrictions and will be reviewed in January. Under the scheme, the UK government will pay 80% of usual wages for hours not worked by staff, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
Claims for staff receiving furlough payments must be submitted within 14 days after the end of the month they relate to.
Frequently asked questions about the furlough scheme
Can I claim CJRS now if I haven’t previously?
You and your employees do not need to have benefited from the scheme before to make a claim. If you’re applying for the first time, you’ll need:
- a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one on GOV.UK by searching for ‘HMRC services: sign in or register’
- to be enrolled for PAYE online
- the following information for each furloughed employee you’ll be claiming for:
- National Insurance number
- claim period and amount
- PAYE/employee number.
If you have less than 100 furloughed staff, you’ll need to input this information directly into the system for each employee. If you have more than this, you’ll need to upload a file with this information. The easiest way to ensure your file is in the right format is to use our template – to find it, search ‘download a template if you’re claiming for 100 or more employees’ on GOV.UK.
Can I use CJRS to pay for holiday leave?
Your employees can only be placed on furlough if you cannot maintain your workforce because your business has been affected by coronavirus, and not just because they are on paid leave. This also applies during any peak holiday periods in late December and early January. If your employee is flexibly furloughed, any time taken as holiday should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.
If a furloughed employee takes holiday, you should pay them their normal rate of pay in line with the Working Time Regulations. For more information search ‘Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages’ on GOV.UK.
What about notice periods?
For claim periods from 1 December, you cannot claim CJRS grants for any days that your employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period, including notice of retirement or resignation.
Can I re-employ someone and furlough them?
If your employees were on your payroll on 23 September 2020 (notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 23 September) and were made redundant or stopped working for you afterwards, they can qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and then place them on furlough.
What if I’ve claimed too much in error?
If you have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid it, you must notify HMRC and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:
- 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
- 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.
If you do not do this, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. For more information on interest search ‘Interest rates for late and early payments’ on GOV.UK.
What if I haven’t claimed enough?
If you made a mistake in your claim that means you received too little money, you’ll need to amend it within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to – unless this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, in which case the deadline is the next weekday. The deadline to amend claims for employees furloughed in November is Tuesday 29 December.
To find out how to amend your claim, search ‘Get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV.UK.
What information on my claim will HMRC publish?
From February, HMRC will publish the names, an indication of the value of claims and Company Registration Numbers (for those who have one) of employers who make CJRS claims for periods from December onwards. The published value of your claim will be shown within a banded range – to find a list of these, search ‘Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages’ on GOV.UK.
Details of furlough claims will then be published monthly as part of HMRC’s commitment to transparency and to deter fraudulent claims.
Your employees will also be able to check if you have made a CJRS claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account from February. To set up a Personal Tax Account go to GOV.UK and search ‘Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up’.