Coronavirus: Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

News article

Claim for 80% of your employee's wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

From 1 September, the government will pay 70 per cent of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80 per cent (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. Read more information about the changes.

Unless you’re making a new claim for an employee who is a military reservist or is returning from statutory parental leave, you can only continue to claim through the scheme if:

  • you have previously furloughed the employee for 3 consecutive weeks between March 1 and 30 June
  • you submitted your claim before 31 July
Information about the Job Retention Bonus was published on 31 July.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    To use the scheme, the steps you'll need to take are:

    If you’re an employee you cannot claim for yourself, instead you should check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

    Use this service to:

    • claim for your employees' wages
    • save and continue a claim (within 7 days of starting it)
    • delete a claim (within 72 hours of submitting it)

    What you'll need

    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)
    • the billing address on your bank account (this is the address on your bank statements)
    • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
    • the number of employees being furloughed
    • each employee's National Insurance number (you will need to search for their number if you do not have it or contact HMRC if your employee has a temporary number or genuinely has never had one)
    • each employee's payroll or employee number (optional)
    • the start date and end date of the claim
    • the full amounts that you're claiming for including:
      • employee wages
      • employer National Insurance contributions (for claims up to 31 July 2020)
      • employer minimum pension contributions (for claims up to 31 July 2020)
    • your phone number
    • contact name

    You also need to provide either:

    If you’re claiming for employees that are flexibly furloughed, you’ll also need:

    • the number of usual hours your employee would usually work in the claim period
    • the number of hours your employee has or will work in the claim period
    • you will also need to keep a record of the number of furloughed hours your employee has been furloughed in the claim period

    It is important that you provide the data HMRC need to process your claim. Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect.

    Using an agent to do PAYE online

    If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf.

    If you’re using an agent you must:

    • get their agent ID (your agent can get this from their HMRC online service for agents account under ‘authorise client’)
    • be enrolled for PAYE online for employers
    • give them your UK bank account details (only provide bank account details where a BACs payment can be accepted)

    If you would like to use an agent, but do not have one authorised to do PAYE online for you, you can do that by accessing your HMRC online services and selecting 'Manage Account'.

    You can also use this service to remove authorisation from your agent if you do not want it to continue after they have submitted your claim(s).

    If you're putting 100 or more employees on furlough

    For claim periods starting on or after 1 July 2020, you can download a template if you’re claiming for 100 or more employees and upload this when you claim. Using this template will help ensure your claim is processed quickly and successfully. Your template may be rejected if you do not give the information in the right format.

    To fill in the template, you must know your employee's:

    • full name
    • National Insurance number
    • payroll number (optional)
    • furlough start date
    • furlough end date (if known)
    • full amount claimed

    If you're flexibly furloughing any of these employees, you'll also need to include:

    • the number of usual hours your employee would usually work in the claim period
    • the number of hours your employee has or will work in the claim period
    • you will also need to keep a record of the number of furloughed hours your employee has been furloughed in the claim period

    You'll need to ensure that you:

    • tell HMRC if your employee has returned from statutory leave and you then put them on furlough
    • provide only the employee information requested here - if you provide more or less information than required, you may risk delaying your payment and/or be asked to provide the information again
    • submit one line per employee for the whole period
    • do not break up the calculation into multiple periods within the claim
    • do not split data by contract type (for example, those paid weekly and monthly should be claimed for together)
    • upload your file as an .xls, .xlsx, .csv or .ods

    How to claim

    You'll need the Government Gateway user ID and password you got when you registered for PAYE online.

    If you do not finish your claim in one session, you can save a draft. You must complete your claim within 7 days of starting it.

    If you want to delete a claim in the online service, you must do this within 72 hours of starting it.

    Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with the online service.

    Use the online service to claim for wages


    If you've claimed the wrong amount
    Find out what to do if you've claimed too much or not enough from the scheme.

    After you've claimed

    Once you've claimed, you'll get a claim reference number. HMRC will then check that your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by BACs into your bank account within six working days.

    You must:

    • keep a copy of all records for six years, including:
      • the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
      • the claim reference number for your records
      • your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
      • for employees you flexibly furloughed, usual hours worked including any calculations that were required
      • for employees you flexibly furloughed, actual hours worked
    • tell your employees that you have made a claim and that they do not need to take any more action
    • pay your employee their wages, if you have not already

    You must pay the full amount you are claiming for your employee’s wages to your employee. You must also pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC, even if your company is in administration. If you’re not able to do that, you’ll need to repay the money back to HMRC.

    You must also pay to HMRC the employer National Insurance contributions on the full amount that you pay the employee. If you have submitted a claim for the employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions, then the full amount you claim in respect of these must be paid or you will need to repay the money back to HMRC.

    Employers cannot enter into any transaction with the worker which reduces the wages below the amount claimed. This includes any administration charge, fees or other costs in connection with the employment. Where an employee had authorised their employer to make deductions from their salary, these deductions can continue while the employee is furloughed provided that these deductions are not administration charges, fees or other costs in connection with the employment.

    When the government ends the scheme

    When the scheme closes on 31 October 2020, you must decide to either:

    Tax Treatment of the Coronavirus Job Retention Grant

    Payments you've received under the scheme are to offset the deductible revenue costs of your employees. You must include them as income when you calculate your taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

    Businesses can deduct employment costs as normal when calculating taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

    Individuals with employees that are not employed as part of a business (such as nannies or other domestic staff) are not taxable on grants received under the scheme. Domestic staff are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions on their wages as normal.

    How to report grant payments in Real Time Information

    Find out about reporting employees' wages to HMRC when you've claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

    Contacting HMRC

    HMRC is receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts their essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

    Do not contact HMRC unless it has been more than 10 working days since you made the claim and you have not received it in that time.

    Get help online

    Use HMRC's digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

    You can also contact HMRC about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if you cannot get the help you need online.

    First published 10 April 2020