HMRC provides an update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

22 April 2020

HMRC has circulated an update in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The online portal was launched on 20 April 2020, and at the time of writing, over 285,000 employers have already made claims through the service.

One major update relates to the online calculator tool, which, initially, could only be used in relation to employees paid fixed amounts each pay period.  The calculator will be enhanced so that it can also provide calculations for employees who are paid variable amounts. This should assist claimants with their calculations prior to submitting their claims.

Claimants are reminded to retain all records and calculations relating to claims, in case HMRC contacts them. Funds will be paid out to claimants within six working days for any successful claims. HMRC should not be contacted before this time. HMRC reiterates that those in need of help should first seek it on GOV.UK, or via its webchat service, to ensure that phone lines are open to anyone who needs HMRC’s help the most.

HMRC identified that some employers had difficulty accessing the online service because they did not have an active PAYE enrolment. To make a claim directly, employers need to:

  • have a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if a client does not already have a GG account, they can apply here, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'HMRC services: sign in or register'
  • be enrolled for PAYE online – if a client isn’t registered yet they can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for 'PAYE Online for employers'

HMRC were able to investigate and resolve the issue quickly, because agents raised the issue with authorisations when the new system was initially launched.

HMRC will check and audit claims to ensure that the scheme is protected from fraudulent and dishonest activity.


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.