Guidance

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Claim for some of your employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. You can read more information about the changes.

Unless you’re making a new claim for an employee who is a military reservist or is returning from statutory parental leave, you can only continue to claim through the scheme if:

  • you have previously furloughed the employee for 3 consecutive weeks between March 1 and 30 June
  • you submitted your claim before 31 July

Information about the Job Retention Bonus was published on 31 July.

To use the scheme, the steps you’ll need to take are:

  1. Check if you can claim.

  2. Check which employees you can put on furlough.

  3. Steps to take before calculating your claim..

  4. Calculate how much you can claim.

  5. Claim for your employees’ wages.

  6. Report a payment in PAYE Real Time Information.

If you’re an employee you cannot claim for yourself, instead you should check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Use this service to:

  • claim for your employees’ wages
  • save and continue a claim (within 7 days of starting it)
  • delete a claim (within 72 hours of submitting it)

What you’ll need

To make a claim, you will need:

  • to be registered for PAYE online
  • your UK bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the billing address on your bank account (this is the address on your bank statements)
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee’s National Insurance number (you will need to search for their number using basic PAYE Tools if you do not have it, or contact HMRC if your employee has a temporary number or genuinely has never had one)
  • each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amounts that you’re claiming for including:
    • employee wages
    • employer National Insurance contributions (for claims up to 31 July)
    • employer minimum pension contributions (for claims up to 31 July)
  • your phone number
  • contact name

You also need to provide either:

  • your name (or the employer’s name if you’re an agent)
  • your Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference
  • your Self Assessment unique taxpayer reference
  • your company registration number

If you’re claiming for employees that are flexibly furloughed, you’ll also need:

  • the number of usual hours your employee would usually work in the claim period
  • the number of hours your employee has or will work in the claim period
  • you will also need to keep a record of the number of furloughed hours your employee has been furloughed in the claim period

It is important that you provide the data we need to process your claim. Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect.

Using an agent to do PAYE online

If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf.

If you’re using an agent you must:

  • get their agent ID (your agent can get this from their HMRC online service for agents account under ‘authorise client’)
  • be enrolled for PAYE online for employers
  • give them your UK bank account details (only provide bank account details where a BACs payment can be accepted)

If you would like to use an agent, but do not have one authorised to do PAYE online for you, you can do that by accessing your HMRC online services and selecting ‘Manage Account’.

You can also use this service to remove authorisation from your agent if you do not want it to continue after they have submitted your claim(s).

If you’re putting 100 or more employees on furlough

For claim periods starting on or after 1 July, you can download a template if you’re claiming for 100 or more employees and upload this when you claim.

Using this template will help ensure your claim is processed quickly and successfully. Your template may be rejected if you do not give the information in the right format.

How to claim

You’ll need the Government Gateway user ID and password you got when you registered for PAYE online.

If you do not finish your claim in one session, you can save a draft. You must complete your claim within 7 days of starting it.

If you want to delete a claim in the online service, you must do this within 72 hours of starting it.

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

Claim now

If you’ve claimed the wrong amount

Find out what to do if you’ve claimed too much from the scheme.

Find out what to do if you’ve not claimed enough from the scheme.

After you’ve claimed

Once you’ve claimed, you’ll get a claim reference number. HMRC will then check that your claim is correct and pay the claim amount by BACs into your bank account within 6 working days.

You must:

  • keep a copy of all records for 6 years, including:
    • the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
    • the claim reference number for your records
    • your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
    • for employees you flexibly furloughed, usual hours worked including any calculations that were required
    • for employees you flexibly furloughed, actual hours worked
  • tell your employees that you have made a claim and that they do not need to take any more action
  • pay your employee their wages, if you have not already

You must pay the full amount you are claiming for your employee’s wages to your employee. You must also pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC, even if your company is in administration. If you’re not able to do that, you’ll need to repay the money back to HMRC.

You must also pay to HMRC the employer National Insurance contributions on the full amount that you pay the employee. If you have submitted a claim for the employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions, then the full amount you claim in respect of these must be paid or you will need to repay the money back to HMRC.

Employers cannot enter into any transaction with the worker which reduces the wages below the amount claimed. This includes any administration charge, fees or other costs in connection with the employment. Where an employee had authorised their employer to make deductions from their salary, these deductions can continue while the employee is furloughed provided that these deductions are not administration charges, fees or other costs in connection with the employment.

When the government ends the scheme

When the scheme closes on October 31, you must decide to either:

Tax Treatment of the Coronavirus Job Retention Grant

Payments you’ve received under the scheme are to offset the deductible revenue costs of your employees. You must include them as income when you calculate your taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

Businesses can deduct employment costs as normal when calculating taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

Individuals with employees that are not employed as part of a business (such as nannies or other domestic staff) are not taxable on grants received under the scheme. Domestic staff are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions on their wages as normal.

How to report grant payments in Real Time Information

Find out how to report Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant payments on Real Time Information submissions.

If you have not claimed enough

If you made an error in your claim that has resulted in receiving too little money, you will still need to make sure you pay your employees the correct amount. You should contact HMRC to amend your claim and as you are increasing the amount of your claim, we may need to conduct additional checks.

Before 31 July, you must:

  • make sure to include all eligible employees on claims that you still need to make for periods up to 30 June
  • make any updates you need to on claims you’ve already made

After 31 July, you will:

  • no longer be able add an employee to any existing claims for periods up to 30 June, that should have been included on a claim submitted before that date
  • still be able to make amendments for any other errors that resulted in you not claiming enough

Contacting HMRC

We are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts our essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

Do not contact HMRC unless it has been more than 10 working days since you made the claim and you have not received it in that time.

Get help online

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

You can also contact HMRC about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if you cannot get the help you need online.

Published 20 April 2020
Last updated 16 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. Moved the section called 'If you have not claimed enough' into this guidance from the page 'If you've claimed too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme', which has now been unpublished.

  2. If you're using a template to tell us about putting more than 100 employees on furlough, you now have to tell us if your employee has come back from statutory leave and you then put them on furlough.

  3. The information call out at the top of the page has been updated with the changes to the scheme from 1 September.

  4. 'What you'll need section' updated to tell employers using the template for 100 or more employees that it may be rejected if the information provided is not given in the right format.

  5. Page updated to say that employers should only contact HMRC to provide National Insurance Numbers if the employee has a temporary number or genuinely has never had one.

  6. Page updated with the removal of information about overclaims and underclaims, this has been moved to a new guide that explains what to do if you claim too much or not enough. Addition of a link to the new guide under the heading 'If you've claimed the wrong amount'.

  7. Information added about the process HMRC is developing to recover overclaimed grant amounts through the tax system.

  8. Page updated to tell employers they can use the online service to delete a claim within 72 hours of submitting it.

  9. The page has been updated with information about what to do if you have claimed too much and do not plan to make another claim.

  10. Added a link in the 'If you make an error when claiming' section to a new page called 'Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back' which tells you how to pay back the grant to HMRC if you've overclaimed through the scheme.

  11. A Welsh translation of this page has been added.'

  12. If you're claiming for an employee with a temporary National Insurance number, you should contact HMRC.

  13. Page updated to tell employers to use a new template when claiming for more than 100 employees.

  14. Page updated with information about how the scheme is changing.

  15. Information in box at the top of the page updated with how the scheme is changing.

  16. Page updated with information about how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

  17. Page updated to explain that employers will be asked to give the amounts separately for the NICs, pension and wages they are claiming for. Information added that employee authorised salary deductions can be made from grant payments.

  18. Added in that records must be kept for at least 6 years. Clarification around where employers can search for employee's National Insurance Numbers. Added wording to the 'After you've claimed' section which was removed from the 'Work out 80% of your employees' wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme'.

  19. The service has now been updated and you can save a claim and finish it later.

  20. Page updated with information on what to do if one or more of your employees does not have a National Insurance number.

  21. Page updated with information about how to claim for 100 or more furloughed employees and the type of bank account details you must use.

  22. 'Using an agent to do PAYE online' section has been updated.

  23. First published.