Reclaiming Wages Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

Reclaiming Wages | Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) | HR Solutions

HMRC confirmed that the 20th April 2020 is the launch date of the online service for reclaiming wages under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).  At around the same time, businesses will be contacted by HMRC with further advice on what they need to do to access the ‘self-serve’ designed service and accompanied guidance.  

The CJRS was introduced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak to enable financial support, with the assistance of HMRC, to be delivered to businesses and citizens that have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).  The aim of of the CJRS is to help employers to retain their employees and protect the UK economy.  

The CJRS will allow businesses to make a claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ pay up to a maximum of £2500 per eligible employee.  Whatever businesses claim for the grant as gross pay, must be paid to the employees.    

How to Make a Claim for CJRS

All employers, including any businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities with a UK payroll can apply for the CJRS.  Businesses can claim directly or via business agents that are authorised to act on behalf of clients for PAYE matters.  For data protection reasons, file only agents and payroll bureaus will not have access to the online service; but they are being asked to help their clients with the information that they will need in order to make their claims.  

To make a claim, businesses and eligible agents, will need to provide the following information:  

  • ePAYE reference number 
  • Number of eligible employees being furloughed 
  • The claim period (start and end date) 
  • Amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks) 
  • National Insurance number of each furloughed employee 
  • Salary, National Insurance and pension contribution information of each furloughed employee 
  • Business UK bank account number and sort code 
  • Business contact name 
  • Business phone number.

The calculation will need to be done in advance, including:  

  • 80% versus £2,500 
  • Pro rata calculations 
  • Minimum auto enrolment employer pension contributions 
  • Employer National Insurance (excluding voluntary top ups) 
  • Past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments 
  • Discretionary bonus (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments cannot be claimed. 
  • Benefits run through salary sacrifice schemes must not be included in the 80% reference salary.  You have to use the reduced salary to claim the 80% on and the employer is responsible for any additional cost. 

When CJRS was first unveiled last month, workers had to be employed by the company furloughing them on 28 February 2020. However, the government has now extended the eligibility date to 19 March 2020, the day before the scheme was first announced.

The government portal link to make a claim is at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Further HR Assistance  

For payroll advice and support, call HR Solutions on 0844 324 5840 or contact us online to find out how we can help.  

You may also find the following articles useful regarding other measures introduced by the government:  

For more articles and ongoing updates visit the HR Solutions’ dedicated page, ‘Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Employers’. 

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