I want to update you on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. I’m very grateful to the huge number of MPs who have shared HMRC’s guidance on the scheme with constituents and would please ask you continue to do so.

More than 285,000 businesses have already applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since it went live on Monday 20 April. To be sure payment comes through to employers before the end of the month, they will need apply today (Wed 22 April).

Accessing the system

We have noticed that some people have had difficulty accessing the system because they do not have an active PAYE enrolment. In order to make a claim they will need to:

  • have a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if they don’t already have a GG account, they can apply here, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for ‘HMRC services: sign in or register’;
  • be enrolled for PAYE online – if they aren’t registered yet, they can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for ‘PAYE Online for employers’.

I’m pleased to say that we were able to investigate and resolve the issue quickly thanks to the agents who raised an issue with authorisations when the new system first went live on Monday morning.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Calculator

We are updating the online calculator tool so that it covers more employment circumstances this afternoon. The update will mean that employers can use it to work out what they can claim for most employees who are paid irregular amounts each pay period, as well as those who are paid fixed amounts.

Webinars now available

To support businesses, we have been offering live webinars on a variety of Covid-19 related topics, including the Job Retention Scheme and how to make a JRS claim.

Employers can book a place on our ‘how to’ JRS webinars here.

They can book a place on any of our other webinars or watch a recording on HMRC’s YouTube channel

If employers in your constituency have already made a claim

Employers should retain all records and calculations for their claims, in case we need to contact them. Provided their claim is made in accordance with HMRC’s published guidance, they can expect to receive the funds six working days after their application. We ask them not to contact us before this time.

HMRC will check claims made through the scheme and will act to protect public money against anyone who makes a claim using dishonest or fraudulent information.

We continue to be busy supporting customers at this time, so we would ask that they only call us if they can’t find what they need on GOV.UK or through our webchat service – this will leave our lines open for those who need our help most.

We’d encourage all employers to also protect their own credentials from potential scammers and opportunist criminal activity.

I hope this update is helpful. I continue to wish you all the best at this challenging time,

Jim Harra

First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive, HMRC

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