Covid-19 in the UK: Job Retention Scheme now live


last updated on 3 June 2020 | Reading time approx. 2 minutes


The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is now live. This scheme is available to all business who wish to claim for 80% of their employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (covid-19).


Before you can start to make a claim, you will have to check that both you and your furloughed employee can use the scheme and work out how much you can claim.

Please see the following links:

For the purposes of eligibility to make a claim, the required instruction to cease work is satisfied if:
  • The employer and employee have agreed that the employee will cease all work in relation to their employment (this includes by a collective agreement between employer and trade union).
  • The agreement/collective agreement specifies "the main terms and conditions upon which the employee will cease all work
  • The agreement is "incorporated (expressly or impliedly) in the employee's contract"; and
  • the agreement is "made in writing or is confirmed in writing by the employer" (in writing includes an electronic form such as an e-mail); and
  • The agreement (including a collective agreement) or confirmation is retained by the employer until at least 30 June 2025.


To make a claim What you need 

In order to make a claim, you will need:

  • to be registered for PAYE online
  • your UK bank account number and sort code
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee's National Insurance number
  • each employee's payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amount you're claiming for including employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum pension contributions
  • your phone number
  • contact name

You will also need to provide the following details 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


Who can make the claim

If you use an agent who is authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes, they will be able to make a claim on your behalf. If an agent makes a claim on your behalf you will need to tell them which bank account you would like the grant to be paid into.

If you use a file only agent they won’t be authorised to make a claim for you and you will need to make the claim yourself. Your file only agent can assist you in obtaining the information you need to claim (which is listed above). 

If you’re claiming for more than 100 employees on furlough

If you're claiming for more than 100 furloughed employees, you'll need to upload a file containing each employee's:

  • full name
  • National Insurance number
  • payroll number (optional)
  • furlough start date
  • furlough end date (if known)
  • full amount claimed

Pease note that the format of the file you upload must be either: .xls, .xlsx. .csv or .ods


How to claim

To make a claim, you will need to log on to:

You’ll need the Government Gateway user ID and password you got when you registered for PAYE online. If you require any assistance with making claims, please contact us directly via email at or alternatively visit our website on


After the claim

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, 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
  • 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


Audit claims

HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim. HMRC will check claims made through the scheme. Payments may be withheld or need to be repaid in full to HMRC if the claim is based on dishonest or inaccurate information or found to be fraudulent.


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