The Government’s Job Retention Scheme (JRS) is now live with full digital support. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the JRS on March 20 to enable full-time employees to remain on the payroll through being ‘furloughed’.

Employers can claim cash grants from HMRC via an online application service which can handle up to 450,000 applications an hour. Employers should then receive the money to pay their employees within six days, enabling them to meet the April payroll.

HMRC emailed two million employers last Friday providing a link to a five-step guide to claiming, as well as warning them to be aware of scams circulating and informing them that they don’t need to call us unless they have a problem.

Any employees an employer places on furlough must be furloughed for a minimum period of three consecutive weeks. When they return to work, they must be taken off furlough. Employees can be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of three consecutive weeks.

As well as employees, the grant can be claimed for any of the following groups, if they are paid via PAYE: office holders (including company directors), salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), and agency workers (including those employed by umbrella companies).

The scheme also includes “limb (b) workers”, which means “dependent contractors”, or workers who are registered as self-employed, but provide a service as part of someone else’s business. Some private hire drivers fall under this description.

For details of how to claim under the JRS, please click here.