The Government has launched its furlough scheme portal.
The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has opened for applications, enabling employers to claim up to 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 a month per furloughed worker.
The Government says 5,000 HMRC staff will operate the scheme. More than 140,000 companies employing a total of a million workers applied to the scheme on its first day of operation – with 67,000 claims in the first 30 minutes.
To receive payment by 30 April employers need to complete an application by 22 April. This is because it will take six working days for the claim to be processed, issued and received. Employers can claim on their own or through an agent who has authorisation to act for them on PAYE matters.
The Government is asking that employers only call them if they can’t find what they need on gov.uk to avoid long queues getting through and so that urgent requests can be answered. All applications will be processed online. After a claim has been submitted it will take six working days for it to be paid. It also advises employees to speak to their employers with any questions, not HMRC as it won’t be able to answer queries from individual employees.
The Government has also launched a new tool to help employers find coronavirus financial support for their business, including loans, tax relief and cash grants, as well as a support package for innovative firms hit by Coronavirus. The package includes a £500 million investment fund for high-growth companies impacted by the crisis, made up of funding from the government and the private sector. SMEs focusing on research and development can also claim grants and loans. More details can be found here: https://bit.ly/3cxPyJL.