Top tips for submitting claims on the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme Portal

Last week saw the availability of the HMRC portal for reclaiming the Job Retention Scheme grant. Whilst we now have lots of claims under our belts at Dains, it is fair to say that the process had some challenges for us and our clients.

Dated: 28 April 2020 Author:  Sam Davies,  Partner Employment Services

Top Tips for the JRS Portal

With most monthly payrolls being completed this week, we anticipate another big, if not bigger, week for making claims.  Here is some information to help you head off some of the challenges we’ve faced.

  1. Make sure you can access the Government Gateway and have access to PAYE Online, many of our clients do not use these facilities on a regular basis and getting onto our approved clients list via our own Government Gateway accounts can take up to 10 days
  2. Using the Government Gateway involves receiving a text message with an access code as part of the login, make sure you have the appropriate mobile phone to hand
  3. If the business submits a tax return, have the business UTR available for entry
  4. The claim period does not need to be limited to 3 weeks, but you will need to enter a start and end date
  5. You cannot claim for more than one pay day in advance
  6. You will be asked to confirm the number of employees furloughed
  7. Only claim for staff for whom an RTI submission has been made before 19 March 2020, HMRC will be checking this, possibly prior to making payment, and failure to identify one person could prevent the claim being processed
  8. If you operate salary sacrifice, the reference pay for calculation of the grant will be the value AFTER salary sacrifice
  9. In calculating NIC, there is an apportionment method that does not necessarily reveal the result you would expect, so check guidance carefully and follow this to undertake your calculations
  10. If you are claiming for less than 100 staff, you will need to enter the names and National Insurance numbers of each separately, but you will not need to break down the total claim
  11. The claim session must be completed in one sitting and the session times out after 15 minutes of inactivity
  12. Make sure you have bank details and the address registered with your bank to hand
  13. You will need to provide the name and phone number of the person who HMRC should contact in the event of any questions
  14. When the claim is complete, you will be provided with a Claim Reference which you should keep safe along with the written confirmations of furlough


HMRC has confirmed again that payments will be received after six working days.

Take Action Now

Please contact us to discuss the challenges you are facing and the solutions available to you by calling 0845 555 8844 or simply complete our enquiry form.  Don’t wait, take advice now, we are here to help you.