HMRC's step by step guide for employers: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

17 April 2020

HMRC has released a step by step guide to assist employers in making a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and describes the processes involved

The guide is comprehensive and brings all of the information previously published together into one consolidated document.

HMRC has confirmed that grants will be paid within six working days of claims being submitted, but employers should not contact HMRC unless absolutely necessary. Any crucial queries should be directed to agents, representatives or HMRC’s webchat service. HMRC does not have the facility to answer questions raised by employees, who will need to raise any queries they may have directly with their employers.

In order to make a claim, claimants will need the following before 20 April 2020:

  • a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password. Claimants who do not already have a GG account can apply for one online here, or by accessing the GOV.UK pages and searching for ‘HMRC services: sign in or register’
  • Claimants must be enrolled for PAYE online. Claimants who aren’t yet registered can register here, or by heading to GOV.UK and searching for ‘PAYE Online for employers’

Claimants will also need the following information for each furloughed employee that they are making a claim for:

  • Name
  • National Insurance (NI) number
  • Claim period and claim amount
  • PAYE / employee number (not mandatory)

As previously confirmed, if a claim includes fewer than 100 furloughed staff, information will need to be input directly into the system for each employee. If, however, the claim includes 100 or more staff, then a file will need to be uploaded into the system containing all the details of furloughed employees. The file will need to be in .xls, .xlsx, .csv or .ods format.

Agents who are authorised to act for other companies on PAYE matters can make the claim on behalf of their clients using their ID and password and will need to confirm with their clients which bank account they would like the grants to be paid into. Similarly, if a company usually uses an agent, they do not have to allow the agent to make the claim but can make it themselves if they wish.

The claim can only be made online and the system has been designed to make it simple to use. Support will be made available on GOV.UK and will include guidance on how to calculate the amounts that can be claimed.

All records and calculations in respect of claims should be retained.


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.