How do UK employers apply for the furlough scheme?
Any UK employer can apply to the scheme to temporarily cover people’s salaries. It will cover 80% of the wage costs of employees who are ‘furloughed’ by their employer, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
The government have released extensive information about how the Job Retention Scheme system will operate, but it is not yet up and running. The most recent updates from HMRC to the Parliamentary Select Committee include:
- HMRC indicate that the system will be live from 20 April and payments will be processed from 30 April
- An employer can submit one claim per claim period – weekly if they pay weekly, monthly if they pay monthly. No comment yet about multiple pay periods
- First claims will likely be backdated to 1 March, then the pay period thereafter
- Further guidance to be released in the “next week” so that employers can prepare for the 20th April live date
- Payments will normally be made within 4-6 working days of submission
- Live testing of the IT systems has started with a few test employers
- Alleged capacity is 450,000 claims per hour
- Employers will be able to claim up to 14 days ahead
- There are no plans to extend the scheme to staff who started employment post 28th Feb and they will be directed to other benefits
- There will be a telephone hotline for employees to report employer fraud
- Given that the written notification must be kept for 5 years, there will be a significant period for retrospective review for fraud
- They fully anticipate that any fraud will result in criminal proceedings
We are awaiting further details and confirmation from HMRC on all these points, and keep you updated on the latest news.