HMRC Furlough scheme now open online - On your mark, get set, go!
Lydik Grynfeltt, Published 20 April 2020 - LinkedIn
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme platform is now live on the HMRC website - 20 April 2020
Good news for the UK employers who have been waiting for more details about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. As the Government promised, the HMRC online platform is opening today, Monday 20 April 2020, allowing HR teams to action with the administration of the gladly announced furlough scheme.
The Government announced in March 2020 that the scheme will be live for employers before the end of April, allowing them to register their furloughed staff and to kick-off with the claim process. This promise has been kept and with a pretty practical timing for those who are currently working at their April payroll.
The HMRC website provides a clear summary of what is required to access and feed the platform. In a nutshell, the platform is plugged onto the Government Gateway used by HR teams and requires to input information on each individual, their furlough period, the individual amount of claim and other PAYE details. There is a batch input process for companies claiming for more than 100 furloughed employees. We don’t know if it is possible to use the batch input for less than 100 people. It would seem a little frustrating for HR teams to have to manually input 99 individuals! HMRC might face numerous questions on this matter.
The Government is pledging payment by BACS within 6 days if the “claim is correct”. This looks almost too good to be true! Compared to most of the other European countries with historical furlough schemes, such quick processing and payment facilities look more like a miracle, but in these times of crisis and difficulties, a miracle is always welcome!
The miracle might find its limit in the access to the online platform and the capacity for the system to face thousands of payroll teams who will try to resuscitate their corporate cash flow at the same time before the end of the month. Let’s hope that the platform will be properly running 24/7, allowing HR teams to connect during off-peak periods. Maybe a two-meter distancing at the gateway will be the best solution… like outside supermarkets.
A little patience may be the price to pay but if this scheme works as it says, some employers might want to start clapping on Thursday evenings to thank their HMRC fellows for their well-timed support.
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