The portal for making claims through the furlough scheme opened on Monday 20 April and over 185,000 businesses applied on day 1, covering 1.3million workers which shows the volume of businesses utilising this scheme. Having already completed over 100 claims on behalf of clients, currently totalling over £2.5 million, the summary below includes some of the key points to be aware of in making a claim and navigating the portal:
You need to confirm, in writing, to the employee being furloughed and keep the correspondence on file for at least five years. The employee doesn’t need to respond provided the confirmation of furlough is done in a way that is consistent with employment law. Please ensure you detail a furlough start and end date, this can be extended if needed.
You can only make one claim per claim period.
If you have more than 1 payroll per PAYE reference, if you have both a weekly and monthly payroll for example, all information needs to be collated together and processed as one claim.
You must claim for all employees in each period at one time.
If you are claiming for 100 or more employees you can upload the claim via a spreadsheet directly into the system, but if the claim is for 99 employees or less this need to be inputted manually (although you can copy and paste from excel).
You must allocate your nominated UK bank account to receive the claim – the monies cannot go to your agent or lawyer for example, nor can they go overseas.
You can make your claim in anticipation of an imminent payroll run, at the point you run your payroll or after you have run your payroll. Please note however, you can only make a claim in advance if your claim period end date is within the next 14 days.
You can backdate to 1st March or the first date an employee was furloughed to end of imminent pay run.
You cannot amend a claim, and therefore have to make sure everyone is included, although HMRC are working on this to allow amendments to be made.
By Charlotte Edwards, Payroll & Employment Taxes Senior Manager