The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) online application portal went live at 8am on Monday 20 April 2020.
The CJRS allows employers to retain employees on the PAYE Payroll who are not carrying out work for them by placing them on furlough for a period of between three weeks and four months, unless the scheme is extended further.
The employer can then claim a grant of 80 per cent of a furloughed employee’s usual pay, plus employer National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and minimum employer auto-enrolment pension contributions.
According to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the portal can handle as many as 450,000 applications an hour. It says that grants will be in employers’ bank accounts within six days of applying.
At the same time, HMRC has published detailed guidance on how employers can calculate the amounts they are entitled to claim, including for those where salaries vary or there is other complexity in the employment relationship. The new guidance is available here.
Amid fears that the scheme is vulnerable to fraud, HMRC has also launched an online portal for employees and members of the public to report suspected fraudulent claims.