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HMRC Update On Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
16th April 2020
HMRC has promised to release wages for furloughed workers by the end of April, as the tax authority prepares for firms to start making claims from Monday.
Companies which have laid off staff temporarily under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can apply for government funds from 20 April.
The scheme, which covers 80% of workers' pay, will run until 1 June. The Treasury said the scheme, which pays wages for March, April and May, could run for longer.
"The scheme is open for an initial three months and we hope conditions will improve sufficiently during this period. However, the Chancellor has been clear he will review extending it for longer if necessary," said a Treasury spokesperson.
HMRC chief executive Jim Harra told the BBC's Today programme that the chancellor Rishi Sunak "has been clear that if it needs to be extended then he will look to do that".
Mr Harra added that the system through which companies can claim funding to pay their furloughed workers will be accessible from Monday. He said he was "confident" employers will get the money in time to pay people by the end of the month.
"Most employers run their payroll on the last banking day of the month which would be 30 April and there is time to get your claims in in time and to get money before then," he said.
Workers are eligible for the scheme provided that they began in their current employment on or before 28 February after the Treasury extended the cut-off date for the coronavirus furlough scheme to cover thousands more workers at risk of losing their jobs.
Employers can now claim for furloughed employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before March 19 – the day before the scheme was announced.
Individuals originally had to be employed on February 28 2020 to qualify for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The Treasury estimates the change will benefit more than 200,000 employees. Read more