April timeline confirmed for employers to claim furlough payments

April 9, 2020


On 8 April 2020, HMRC advised that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) online claims portal is expected to open on 20 April 2020, in time for the first furlough payments to be made by 30 April 2020.

The aim is to pay employers within 4 to 6 working days after they submit their claim. Employers who pay their staff monthly should then be able to claim the money back from HMRC 14 days before employees would expect to be paid.

It is also expected that further guidance will soon be published to assist employers with submitting their claims once the portal goes live.

Additional updates and guidance in relation to the CJRS and furloughing include:

  • Director dividends cannot be used when calculating furlough pay;

  • There is currently no plan to extend the scheme to those who have had their working hours reduced due to the COVID-19 outbreak;

  • There is currently no plan to help those who started a new job after 28 February 2020*, and their previous employer does not agree to re-engage or furlough them; and

  • The system will not be able to deal with payments in euros, and HMRC will provide further guidance to employers who may be affected by this.

For self-employed workers, HMRC is working to identify and contact self-employed workers who can make a claim under the Self-employed Income Protection Scheme (SEISS). It is estimated that this will be complete by mid-May 2020 and could include up to 3.8 million individuals. HMRC remains committed to make the payments under the scheme by early June 2020, but if possible, it will do so earlier.

*On 15 April 2020, the qualifying date changed from 28 February to 19 March 2020.



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