From education to employment

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until end of March

PM Rishi Sunak

In November Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Government’s Furlough Scheme will be extended until the end of March.

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until 31 March 2021.
  • 30 November 2020 is the last day employers can submit or change claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.
  • Claims for furlough days in November 2020 must be submitted by 14 December 2020.

The self-employment support scheme has also been extended.

Businesses and people across the UK given certainty over winter months with further support announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak

The furlough scheme will now be extended until the end of March – protecting millions of jobs across all nations

The next self-employed income support grant will also increase from 55% to 80% of average profits – up to £7,500

To reflect the recent changes to the #furlough scheme, the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (#SEISS) will be made more generous – with self-employed individuals receiving 80% of their average trading profits for November. 

The Chancellor originally announced in May (12th) that the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would only remain open until the end of October.

Rishi Sunak had said the furlough scheme would be extended by a further four months with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary:

As we reopen the economy, we need to support people to get back to work. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.

The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

Our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has protected millions of jobs and businesses across the UK during the outbreak – and I’ve been clear that I want to avoid a cliff edge and get people back to work in a measured way.

This extension and the changes we are making to the scheme will give flexibility to businesses while protecting the livelihoods of the British people and our future economic prospects.

New statistics published today revealed the job retention scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses.

The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August. More specific details and information around its implementation will be made available by the end of this month.

The government will explore ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported during this period. It will also continue to work closely with the Devolved Administrations to ensure the scheme supports people across the Union.

The Chancellor’s decision to extend the scheme, which will continue to apply across all regions and sectors in the UK economy, comes after the government outlined its plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme is just one part of the government’s world-leading economic response to coronavirus, including an unprecedented package for the self-employed, loans and guarantees that have so far provided billions of pounds in support, tax deferrals and grants for small businesses.

Today the government is also publishing new statistics that show businesses have benefitted from over £14 billion in loans and guarantees to support their cashflow during the crisis. This includes 268,000 Bounce Back Loans worth £8.3 billion, 36,000 loans worth over £6 billion through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and £359 million through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

The Job Retention Scheme is a lifeline which has been hugely beneficial in helping small employers keep their staff in work, and it’s extension is welcome. Small employers have told us that part-time furloughing will help them recover from this crisis and it is welcome that new flexibility is announced today.

BCC Director General Adam Marshall said:

The extension of the Job Retention Scheme will come as a huge help and a huge relief for businesses across the UK.

The Chancellor is once again listening to what we’ve been saying, and the changes planned will help businesses bring their people back to work through the introduction of a part-time furlough scheme. We will engage with the Treasury and HMRC on the detail to ensure that this gives companies the flexibility they need to reopen safely.

Over the coming months, the government should continue to listen to business and evolve the scheme in line with what’s happening on the ground. Further support may yet be needed for companies who are unable to operate for an extended period, or those who face reduced capacity or demand due to ongoing restrictions.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:

The Chancellor is confronting a challenging balancing act deftly. As economic activity slowly speeds up, it’s essential that support schemes adapt in parallel.

Extending the furlough to avoid a June cliff-edge continues the significant efforts made already and will protect millions of jobs.

Introducing much needed flexibility is extremely welcome. It will prepare the ground for firms that are reawakening, while helping those who remain in hibernation. That’s essential as the UK economy revives step-by-step, while supporting livelihoods.

Firms will, of course, want more detail on how they will contribute to the scheme in the future and will work with government to get this right.

Above all, the path of the virus is unpredictable, and much change still lies ahead. The government must continue to keep a watchful eye on those industries and employees that remain at risk. All schemes will need to be kept under review to help minimise impacts on people’s livelihoods and keep businesses thriving.

The greater the number of good businesses saved now, the easier it will be for the economy to recover.

Neil Carberry, CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said:

“The Chancellor is right to extend the furlough scheme. This announcement recognises a point that the REC has raised repeatedly – the big jobs battle is against a longer-term unemployment crisis. A longer period of operation for the scheme, combined with the possibility of part-time furlough, is exactly the action that was needed.

“But both the current and future versions of CJRS need to serve temporary workers better. Government has been too slow to ensure agencies can furlough staff on the same low cost basis as other employers, soft-pedalling guidance on holiday pay and the level of reassurance required from clients that a temp will be able to return. Action is needed now on this – and the part-time furlough system will also have to work for temps as well as permanent staff. REC data shows that the majority of agencies have furloughed at least some of their agency staff, but the ongoing lack of clarity on these key issues has held others back.”

“Government can rely on marshalling the private sector to help with the unemployment fight. Using the experts in the UK’s recruitment and staffing sector, working in partnership with JobCentres to advise jobseekers and find them new roles is a simple and effective step. We are ready to help”.

Anneliese Dodds MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:

“The furlough scheme is a lifeline for millions. The Government was right not to pull it away.

“It is welcome that the Chancellor has heeded the call by Labour, trade unions, and businesses for more flexibility in the scheme, to support employees to go back to work part-time.

“The government must clarify today when employers will be required to start making contributions, and how much they’ll be asked to pay. If every business is suddenly required to make a substantial contribution from the 1st August onwards, there is a very real risk that we will see mass redundancies.”

Further information

  Cumulative number of approved facilities Cumulative value of approved facilities Cumulative number of applications
Bounce Back Loan Scheme 268,173 £8.378 billion 363,646
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme 35,919 £6.094 billion 71,316
Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans Scheme 59 £359 million 358
  • the applications figure includes approved applications, those applications that are still to be processed, applications that have been declined and those applications that may turn out not to be eligible or cases where customers will decide not to proceed
  • figures show cumulative applications and approvals up to close of business on 10 May 2020
  • these figures include data from BBB accredited lenders shared directly with HMT by close of business on 11 May 2020
Number of Jobs Furloughed 7.5 million
Number of Employers Furloughing 935,000
Total £ claimed £10.1 billion

These figures are up 12th May

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

To make a claim, you will need:

  • to be registered for PAYE online
  • your UK, Channel Island or Isle of Man bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the billing address on your bank account (this is the address on your bank statements)
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee’s National Insurance number (you will need to search for their number using basic PAYE Tools if you do not have it, or contact HMRC if your employee has a temporary number or genuinely has never had one)
  • each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amounts that you’re claiming for including:
    • employee wages
    • employer National Insurance contributions (for claims up to 31 July 2020)
    • employer minimum pension contributions (for claims up to 31 July 2020)
  • your phone number
  • contact name

You also need to provide 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

If you’re claiming for employees that are flexibly furloughed, you’ll also need:

  • the number of usual hours your employee would usually work in the claim period
  • the number of hours your employee has or will work in the claim period
  • you will also need to keep a record of the number of furloughed hours your employee has been furloughed in the claim period

It is important that you provide the data we need to process your claim. Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect.

Using an agent to do PAYE online

If you use an agent who is authorised to do PAYE online for you, they will be able to claim on your behalf.

If you’re using an agent you must:

  • get their agent ID (your agent can get this from their HMRC online service for agents account under ‘authorise client’)
  • be enrolled for PAYE online for employers
  • give them your UK bank account details (only provide bank account details where a BACs payment can be accepted)

If you would like to use an agent, but do not have one authorised to do PAYE online for you, you can do that by accessing your HMRC online services and selecting ‘Manage Account’.

You can also use this service to remove authorisation from your agent if you do not want it to continue after they have submitted your claim(s).

If you’re putting 100 or more employees on furlough

For claim periods starting on or after 1 July, you can download a template if you’re claiming for 100 or more employees and upload this when you claim.

Using this template will help ensure your claim is processed quickly and successfully. Your template may be rejected if you do not give the information in the right format.

How to claim

You’ll need the Government Gateway user ID and password you got when you registered for PAYE online.

You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll as long as your claim is submitted by the relevant claim deadline. You cannot submit your claim more than 14 days before your claim period end date.

When making your claim:

  • you do not have to wait until the end date of the claim period for a previous claim before making your next claim
  • you can make your claim more than 14 days in advance of the pay date (for example, if you pay your employee in arrears)

If you do not finish your claim in one session, you can save a draft. You must complete your claim within seven days of starting it. All claims for periods from 1 July 2020 to 31 October 2020 must be submitted no later than 30 November 2020.

Claims from 1 November 2020 must be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend or a bank holiday then claims should be submitted on the next working day.

Claim for furlough days in Claim must be submitted by
November 2020 14 December 2020
December 2020 14 January 2021
January 2021 15 February 2021
February 2021 15 March 2021
March 2021 14 April 2021

HMRC may accept a claim made after the relevant deadline if you had a reasonable excuse for failing to make a claim in time despite taking reasonable care to do so and you then claimed without delay after the excuse no longer applied. You may have reasonable excuse if for example:

  • your partner or another close relative died shortly before the claim deadline
  • you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your claim
  • you had a serious or life-threatening illness, including Coronavirus related illnesses, which prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could claim for you)
  • a period of self-isolation prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could make the claim for you)
  • your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online claim
  • service issues with HMRC online services prevented you from making your claim
  • a fire, flood or theft prevented you them from making your claim
  • postal delays that you could not have predicted prevented you from making your claim
  • delays related to a disability you have prevented you from making your claim
  • a HMRC error prevented you from making your claim

HMRC will not consider reasonable excuses in advance of a claim deadline.

If you want to delete a claim in the online service, you must do this within 72 hours of starting it.

Online services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any problems with this service.

Claim now

If you’ve claimed the wrong amount

Find out what to do if you’ve claimed too much from the scheme.

Find out what to do if you’ve not claimed enough from the scheme.

After you’ve claimed

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 six working days.

You must:

  • keep a copy of all records for 6 years, 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
    • for employees you flexibly furloughed, usual hours worked including any calculations that were required
    • for employees you flexibly furloughed, actual hours worked
  • 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

You must pay the full amount you are claiming for your employee’s wages to your employee. You must also pay the associated employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC, even if your company is in administration. If you’re not able to do that, you’ll need to repay the money back to HMRC.

You must also pay to HMRC the employer National Insurance contributions on the full amount that you pay the employee. If you have submitted a claim for the employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions, then the full amount you claim in respect of these must be paid or you will need to repay the money back to HMRC.

Employers cannot enter into any transaction with the worker which reduces the wages below the amount claimed. This includes any administration charge, fees or other costs in connection with the employment. Where an employee had authorised their employer to make deductions from their salary, these deductions can continue while the employee is furloughed provided that these deductions are not administration charges, fees or other costs in connection with the employment.

When the government ends the scheme

When the scheme closes, you must decide to either:

30 November 2020 is the last day that you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

Tax Treatment of the Coronavirus Job Retention Grant

Payments you’ve received under the scheme are to offset the deductible revenue costs of your employees. You must include them as income when you calculate your taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

Businesses can deduct employment costs as normal when calculating taxable profits for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes.

Individuals with employees that are not employed as part of a business (such as nannies or other domestic staff) are not taxable on grants received under the scheme. Domestic staff are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions on their wages as normal.

How to report grant payments in Real Time Information

Find out how to report Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant payments on Real Time Information submissions.

If you have not claimed enough

If you made an error in your claim that has resulted in you receiving too little money, you will still need to make sure you pay your employees the correct amount. You should contact HMRC on or before 30 November to amend your claim and as you are increasing the amount of your claim, we may need to conduct additional checks.

30 November 2020 is the last day that you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to:

  • submit any further claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020
  • add to existing claims for periods on or before 31 October 2020

For claims relating to periods after 1 November 2020, you will only be able to increase the amount of your claim if you amend the claim within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to (unless this falls on a weekend or a bank holiday, it would then be the next working day).

To amend a claim for: You must amend the claim by 11:59pm on:
November 2020 29 December 2020
December 2020 28 January 2021
January 2021 1 March 2021
February 2021 29 March 2021
March 2021 28 April 2021

Contacting HMRC

If you think there have been mistakes or unreasonable delays caused by HMRC, you can use our complaints process.

Get help online

Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

You can also contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.

We are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts our essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

Published 20 April 2020
Last updated 19 November 2020 – hide all updates

  1. The information has been updated to include more detail about what HMRC may deem to be a reasonable excuse for missing a claim deadline. The information has also been amended to make clear that if a claim deadline falls on the weekend or a bank holiday then claims should be submitted on the next working day.

  2. Information relating to claim period deadlines and timings has been clarified.

  3. The scheme has been extended. This guidance has been updated with details of how to claim for periods after 1 November 2020. 30 November 2020 is the last day employers can submit or change claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

  4. Added translation.

  5. Information call out updated to state that the scheme is being extended until 31 March 2021.

  6. Information call out has been updated to confirm that the guidance on this page reflects the rules for the period until 31 October 2020. This page will be updated to include the rules relating to the scheme extension shortly.

  7. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended until December 2020.

  8. Information call out has been updated – the scheme is now closed. 30 November 2020 is the last date you can submit claims.

  9. Added translation

  10. The information call out at the top of the page has been updated with the changes to the scheme. 30 November 2020 is the last day employers can submit or change claims for periods ending on or before 30 October 2020. Section ‘If you have not claimed enough’ updated – employers must contact HMRC on or before 30 November to add to a claim.

  11. Moved the section called ‘If you have not claimed enough’ into this guidance from the page ‘If you’ve claimed too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’, which has now been unpublished.

  12. If you’re using a template to tell us about putting more than 100 employees on furlough, you now have to tell us if your employee has come back from statutory leave and you then put them on furlough.

  13. The information call out at the top of the page has been updated with the changes to the scheme from 1 September.

  14. ‘What you’ll need section’ updated to tell employers using the template for 100 or more employees that it may be rejected if the information provided is not given in the right format.

  15. Page updated to say that employers should only contact HMRC to provide National Insurance Numbers if the employee has a temporary number or genuinely has never had one.

  16. Page updated with the removal of information about overclaims and underclaims, this has been moved to a new guide that explains what to do if you claim too much or not enough. Addition of a link to the new guide under the heading ‘If you’ve claimed the wrong amount’.

  17. Information added about the process HMRC is developing to recover overclaimed grant amounts through the tax system.

  18. Page updated to tell employers they can use the online service to delete a claim within 72 hours of submitting it.

  19. The page has been updated with information about what to do if you have claimed too much and do not plan to make another claim.

  20. Added a link in the ‘If you make an error when claiming’ section to a new page called ‘Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back’ which tells you how to pay back the grant to HMRC if you’ve overclaimed through the scheme.

  21. A Welsh translation of this page has been added.’

  22. If you’re claiming for an employee with a temporary National Insurance number, you should contact HMRC.

  23. Page updated to tell employers to use a new template when claiming for more than 100 employees.

  24. Page updated with information about how the scheme is changing.

  25. Information in box at the top of the page updated with how the scheme is changing.

  26. Page updated with information about how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

  27. Page updated to explain that employers will be asked to give the amounts separately for the NICs, pension and wages they are claiming for. Information added that employee authorised salary deductions can be made from grant payments.

  28. Added in that records must be kept for at least 6 years. Clarification around where employers can search for employee’s National Insurance Numbers. Added wording to the ‘After you’ve claimed’ section which was removed from the ‘Work out 80% of your employees’ wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.

  29. The service has now been updated and you can save a claim and finish it later.

  30. Page updated with information on what to do if one or more of your employees does not have a National Insurance number.

  31. Page updated with information about how to claim for 100 or more furloughed employees and the type of bank account details you must use.

  32. ‘Using an agent to do PAYE online’ section has been updated.

  33. First published.

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