Furlough – the first 48 hours of the portal
HMRC’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal went live on Monday morning. HMRC announced via twitter that in its first 24 hours:
- 185,000 firms submitted claims via the portal
- 1,300,000 employees were designated as furloughed
- The total value of furloughed employees was c.£1.5 billion
Whilst the scheme itself has opened up plenty of commentary and criticism for its gaps and inconsistencies, our network has been pleasantly surprised by the practicalities of the portal – not least that it was up and running on schedule. Some tips, learnings and irks have nevertheless been highlighted to us:
- Only one claim can be made per pay period (i.e. per calendar month). If you submit a claim in April but forget to include an employee, you cannot make another claim for that person until May.
- It follows that if employees are furloughed on different dates you should not apply for each employee separately but should submit one claim for everyone at the same time.
- If your business has over 100 employees then you can submit a claim in excel but if your businesses has 99 or fewer employees then you have to file “manually” (which we take to mean that you have to enter the details for each employee individually).
- There is some confusion over whether a claim for daily amounts should be calculated according to working days or calendar days, which impacts the daily wage figure. HMRC’s guidance refers to calendar days but accountants are split on this. We anticipate that HMRC will provide further guidance on this in due course.
We will be watching out for updates and improvements to the portal and will keep you informed.
stats originating from HM revenue & customs official twitter page. See the tweet here.
Find all our Covid-19 related advice here.
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Anna Byford is an employment senior associate
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