April timeline confirmed for furlough payments

On 8 April 2020, HMRC advised that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) online claims portal is expected to open on 20 April 2020, in time for the first furlough payments to be made by 30 April 2020.


The aim is to pay employers within 4 to 6 working days after they submit their claim. Employers who pay their team monthly, should then be able to claim the money back from HMRC 14 days before employees would expect to be paid.

It is also expected that further guidance will soon be published to assist employers with submitting their claims once the portal goes live.



Additional updates and guidance in relation to the CJRS and furloughing include:

  • • Directors of limited companies who pay themselves a salary under PAYE, can furlough themselves. They can claim 80% on the salary element, but dividends cannot be used when calculating furlough pay. Furloughed employees including directors are not allowed to work in the business ( apart from directors’ statutory duties) whilst furloughed;

  • • There is currently no plan to extend the scheme to those who have had their working hours reduced due to the COVID-19 outbreak;

  • • There is currently no plan to help those who started a new job after 28 February 2020, and their previous employer does not agree to re-engage or furlough them; and

  • • The system will not be able to deal with payments in euros, and HMRC will provide further guidance to employers who may be affected by this.

To claim, 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

To claim you will need:

  • • your ePAYE reference number

  • • the 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

You will need to calculate the amount you are claiming. HMRC will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of your claim.


For self-employed workers, HMRC is working to identify and contact self-employed workers who can make a claim under the Self-employed Income Protection Scheme (SEISS). It is estimated that this will be complete by mid-May 2020 and could include up to 3.8 million individuals. HMRC remains committed to make the payments under the scheme by early June 2020, but if possible, it will do so earlier

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