HMRC confirms that the online service for reclaiming wages under the CJRS is due to be launched on 20 April

08 April 2020

HMRC has confirmed that an online service will be raised to allow businesses to make claims relating to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and that it is due to be launched on 20 April 2020.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, called on HMRC to assist with delivering financial support to businesses and citizens during the outbreak of coronavirus, and one of the measures introduced to do so was the CJRS. HMRC has now confirmed the intended launch date and explained that claims will need to be made online, and not by phone.

HMRC has advised that it is working as quickly as possible to deliver the service that will allow businesses to make a claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ pay, up to a maximum cap of £2,500 per eligible employee.

Any businesses and agents that are authorised to act on behalf of clients for PAYE matters will have the ability to claim. Conversely, file only agents including Payroll Bureaus with only that access level will not be able to access the service for data protection reasons.

HMRC still requires the support of file only agents, even though they will not be able to access the service themselves. These agents are being asked to help their clients, as it is highly likely that they will have access to information that their clients will need in order to make their claims.

 Businesses will need the following in relation to each furloughed employee:                                                                                            

  • National Insurance number
  • Salary, National Insurance and pension contribution information to allow businesses to correctly calculate the amount that they can claim back

The service is due to be launched on 20 April, and businesses will be contacted with advice on what they need to do, by HMRC, at that time.

It is expected that phone demand will increase substantially and so the service will be designed to be self-serve but will be accompanied by guidance.

Further information relating to support for businesses and workers will be provided shortly, and more details on the Coronavirus Self Employment Income Support Scheme will be released.

The resounding message is that HMRC is working relentlessly to help deliver financial support to those who need it during these unprecedented times.


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.