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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

HMRC COVID-19 Support: Changes to Job Retention Scheme

Date: Thursday 03 September 2020

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) came into effect from 1 September. HMRC will now pay 70% of usual wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.

Employers should now:
• Continue to pay furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. You will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant yourself.
• The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if your employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in September, you are entitled to claim 70% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work up to £1,093.75 (50% of the £2,187.50 cap).
• Continue to pay furloughed employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds.

Make sure data is accurate
It’s important to provide all the data HMRC needs to process your claim. Payment of your grant may be at risk or delayed if you submit a claim that is incomplete or incorrect, so HMRC wants to help get this right. They will get in touch if they see any employee data missing from previous claims.

Claiming for 100 or more employees: use the template
It’s really important to use the right file type when uploading your data. The easiest way to ensure your file is in the right format is to use the HMRC template. To download a template if you're claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme CLICK HERE.

If your file is in the wrong format – for example, an incorrect file type or too many or too few columns – it may be rejected. If your file is rejected, you’ll receive a message to say it has not been accepted and your claim will not be processed.

Fraudulent claims
HMRC has started to investigate CJRS claims where fraud is suspected. They will be paying particular attention to claims that differ from the PAYE data held and where they have received reports of fraud.

Employees are encouraged to report their employer if they have reason to believe that they are abusing the scheme. They can do this anonymously if they prefer. For more information go to GOV.UK to report fraud to HMRC.

More information
Guidance and live webinars offering more support on changes to the scheme and how they impact you are available to book online – go to GOV.UK for help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus.

HMRC's phone lines and webchat are still very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you may need is on GOV.UK. This will leave their phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.

Protect yourself from scams
Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Go to GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.