Furlough scheme extended to end of June

The government has announced that its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended by a month to reflect continuing social distancing measures.

The scheme, which allows firms to furlough employees, with the government paying cash grants of 80 per cent of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500, (https://wnj.co.uk/job-retention/) was originally open for three months and backdated from the March 1 to the end of May.

Now, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that it will be open until the end of June.

He said: “It is the right decision to extend the furlough scheme for a month to the end of June to provide clarity.”

The government says that the scheme will continue to be monitored to ensure people and businesses can get back to work “as soon as it’s safe to do so to drive UK economic recovery”.

Under the scheme, thousands of businesses up and down the country have now furloughed staff.

An online service is being launched today (April 20) to allow businesses to make a claim – the taxman has revealed they will not be able to claim by telephone.

Businesses and agents that are authorised to act on behalf of clients for PAYE matters, will be able to make a claim.

WNJ’s team is available to support its clients through the process, either directly, if authorised, or indirectly.

Please confirm to payroll@wnj.co.uk if you wish to instruct us to access the HMRC portal directly on your behalf and process the grant claim.

In addition, whilst our payroll team has already been processing salaries based on furlough calculations for some clients where applicable, if you haven’t already done so, please can you provide the following information:

• Name and National Insurance number of the employee furloughed
• Details of the furlough claim period
• Confirmation of the business bank account number and sort code

To make a claim themselves, businesses will require the following information:

• PAYE reference number
• Confirmation of the number of employees being furloughed
• The furlough claim period for each employee
• Amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of three weeks). HMRC retain the right to audit all aspects of the claim
• Your business bank account number and sort code
• Your contact name and telephone number

The online service is designed to be ‘self-serve’, with guidance in place.

The Office for Budgetary Responsibility has said the CJRS scheme is limiting the impact on employment.

The government says future decisions on the scheme will take into account further developments on the wider measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus, as well as the responsible management of the public finances.