Further updates to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance for employers and employees

15 April 2020

HMRC has updated its guidance for both employers and employees in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The updates provide further details regarding the payroll date and additional information about eligibility.

Payroll date

One fundamental change relates to when an employer needs to have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme by – initially it was 28 February 2020, but this has since been extended to encompass employers who had completed this on or before 19 March 2020.

Employees can also now be placed on furlough if they were on PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 (previously on or before 28 February 2020), and where HMRC was notified of them on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020.

Employees employed as of 28 February 2020 and where their employer notified HMRC of them on an RTI submission on or before 28 February, who were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if they are re-employed by their employer and placed on furlough. This applies to employees who were made redundant or stopped working for an employer after 28 February 2020, even if they were not re-employed until after 19 March 2020. An RTI submission showing payment in respect of that employee must have been made to HMRC on or before 28 February 2020.

There is also confirmation that if an employee has had numerous employers over the past year, only worked for one of them at any given time and is being furloughed by their current employer, any former employer/s should not re-employ them to place on furlough and claim wages through the scheme.

New employers can claim under the CJRS for employees of a previous business transferred after 19 March 2020 where either TUPE or PAYE business succession rules apply to the change in ownership. Where a group of companies with multiple PAYE schemes have all of their employees transferred into a new consolidated PAYE scheme after 19 March 2020, the new scheme will be eligible to furlough those employees and claim grants under the CJRS.

To calculate 80% of the wages for full time or part-time employees with a salary, you must use the salary in the last pay period prior to 19 March 2020. Where employers have calculated on previous guidance that stipulated that 80% calculations should be based on the employee’s salary as at 28 February 2020, and this differs from the salary in the last pay period prior to 19 March 2020, employers can opt to use the original calculation if they wish.

Making a claim

Where employers have less than 100 furloughed staff, they will be required to enter the details of each employee they are claiming for directly into the system. The information required will be name, National Insurance number, claim period and amount and the payroll/employee number (optional).

Employers who have 100 or more furloughed staff will need to upload a file with the information, rather than directly input information into the system. File types .xls, .xlsx, .csv and .ods will be accepted. The file will need the same information, so name, National insurance number, claim period and amount and the payroll/employee number (optional).

All records and calculations should be kept in respect of the claims.

HMRC requests that employers keep employees informed and answer any questions they may have. HMRC will not be able to provide employees with details relating to claims that employers have made, so employers should refrain from advising their employees to contact HMRC.

Agents who are authorised to act for their clients for PAYE purposes will be able to make claims on their behalf, but file only agents won’t. File only agents will need to provide their clients with the information they need to make their claims. Agents who can claim on behalf of their clients will need to confirm with their client which bank account they would like the grant to be paid into.


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.