The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is going live on the HMRC portal on 20th April.

We caught up with Lucy Cohen, co-founder of Mazuma, the UK's leading Online Accountants for small and micro businesses to find out what that means businesses need to do to be prepared:

Lucy writes that:

To claim, businesses will need:

  • ePAYE reference number
  • number of employees being furloughed
  • the claim period (start and end date)
  • amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
  • your bank account number and sort code
  • your contact name
  • your phone number
The calculation will need to be done in advance, including;
  • 80% versus £2,500
  • pro rata calculations
  • min auto enrolment employer pension contributions
  • employer National Insurance (excl. voluntary top ups)
  • past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments
Discretionary bonus (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments cannot be claimed.

Whatever you claim for the grant as gross pay, must be paid to the employees.

IMPORTANT - you may need to take action now

You must have:

  • created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 28 February 2020
  • enrolled for PAYE online - this can take up to 10 days
  • a UK bank account
Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.

VERY IMPORTANT - you may need to enroll for a PAYE online account. Do this now to avoid delays to your payments. You can do that here -

In the mean time, you can check the official guidance here.