How does an employer make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

Employers must use an online portal to make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

When making a claim, employers will need:

  • their PAYE reference number;
  • the number of employees being furloughed;
  • the national insurance numbers, payroll/works numbers (this is optional) and (if claiming for 100 or more employees) names of the employees being furloughed;
  • the self assessment or corporation tax unique taxpayer reference or company registration number;
  • the claim period (start and end date);
  • the amount claimed (including the amounts claimed for employer national insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions, for claim periods before 1 August 2020);
  • their bank account number and sort code;
  • the phone number of the person making the claim.

Employers that are furloughing 100 or more staff will have to upload a file with the information, including the furlough start and end dates and full amount claimed for each employee.

From 1 July 2020, a furloughed employee can work on a flexible, part-time basis for their employer (known as "flexible furlough"). The employer can claim under the scheme for the hours that the employee does not work and is recorded as being on furlough. The claim period must begin and end within the same calendar month and the minimum claim period is seven days (except where the claim covers the first or last few days in the month). This is the same whether the employee is fully furloughed or on flexible furlough.

If it uses a flexible furlough arrangement, in addition to the information above, the employer will need to provide:

  • the employee's usual hours for the claim period; and
  • the actual hours worked by the employee during the claim period.

Employers must retain records of their claims for at least six years, including the reference number, their calculations, the amounts claimed and the claim periods. If an employer makes use of a flexible furlough arrangement, the record must include the hours of furlough for each employee in each claim period and the employee's usual hours.

Employers must ensure that they follow HMRC guidance on calculating and making claims under the scheme.