Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The online claim service was launched on  GOV.UK today, 20 th April

How to make a claim
  • The only way to make a claim is online at www.GOV.UK.

Who can you claim for?
  • You can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you will have made an RTI submission notifying HMRC of payment of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.
  • Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to us on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

Who can make the claim?
  • For an agent to make the claim on your behalf they must be authorised to act for you for PAYE purposes.
  • If we process your payroll we will be able to make the claim on your behalf.

What information will you need?

Employer Information
  • A Government Gateway ID and Password. 
  • If you don’t already have one you can apply for one here
  • Be enrolled for PAYE online
  • If you aren’t already registered you can do so here
  • The bank account number and sort code you’d like use when your claim is paid
  • The name and phone number of the person in your business who will deal with any questions.
  • Your Self-Assessment UTR (Unique Tax Reference), Company UTR or CRN (Company Registration Number)

Employee Information
  • Name
  • National Insurance number.
  • Claim period and claim amount.
  • PAYE/employee number (optional).
  • if you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee
  • If you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; the following file types will be accepted: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.

When will you be paid?
  • Claims should be paid within 6 working days

Other information
  • You should not contact HMRC unless it is absolutely necessary – any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or their webchat service

HMRC cannot answer any queries from employees – they will need to raise these with you, as their employer, directly
Message from HMRC

You can now claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This scheme will be open until the end of June 2020.

Before you make a claim:
  • please read all the available guidance on GOV.UK before you apply
  • gather all the information and the precise calculations you need before you start your application – if you have a payroll provider, they will be able to help you with this
  • you can find out more in the calculation guidance where you can access a claim calculator – this will allow you to check your claim for most employees who are paid the same amount each pay period
  • access our simple step-by-step guide for additional help.

After you’ve made a claim:
  • keep a note or a print-out of your claim reference number – you won’t receive a confirmation SMS or email
  • retain all records and calculations for your claims, in case we need to contact you about them
  • expect to receive the funds six working days after you apply, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme – please do not contact us before this time
  • to receive payment by 30‌‌ April, you will need to complete an application by 22‌‌ April
  • please ask your furloughed employees not to contact us directly – we will not be able to provide them with any information on individual claims.

We expect to be very busy so we would ask that you only call us if you can’t find what you need on GOV‌.UK or through our webchat service – this will leave our lines open for those who need our help most.

HMRC will check claims made through the scheme and will act to protect public money against anyone who makes a claim using dishonest or fraudulent information.

Please only call us if you can’t find what you need on GOV‌.UK – this will leave our lines open for those who need our help most.

We wish you all the best at this challenging time.

Jim Harra
First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive – HMRC

The government’s furlough scheme will be extended for a further month into June, the Chancellor confirmed ahead of today's Downing Street Press Conference.

The scheme, which allows firms to furlough employees with the government paying cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500, was originally open for three months and backdated from the 1 March to the end of May.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: “It is vital for people’s livelihoods that the UK economy gets up and running again when it is safe to do so, and I will continue to review the scheme so it is supporting our recovery. The government has taken unprecedented action to help the economy and society bridge a period of national emergency so that as many people as possible can get back to work as the situation improves.”

Chancellor expands loan scheme for large businesses
A government-backed loan scheme for large businesses affected by coronavirus has been expanded to cover all viable firms, the Chancellor announced today.

Outlining further details of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CLBILS) ahead of its launch on Monday, Rishi Sunak said all firms with a turnover of more than £45m will now be able to apply for up to £25m of finance, and up to £50m for firms with a turnover of more than £250m.

Business with turnovers of more than £500m were originally not eligible for the scheme, which is being set up to help firms who do not qualify for the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – for small and medium sized businesses - and the Bank of England Covid Corporate Financing Facility – for investment grade companies. The move, which comes after extensive consultation with businesses, will ensure even more firms are able to benefit from government support.

More information is available here .

Businesses to save up to £300m a year while reducing CO 2
Businesses across the UK are set to save up to £300m a year, as the government launches launched a consultation on the terms of an extension to the Climate Change Agreement scheme (CCA), which it is estimated will also will prevent an estimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted each year.

CCAs work by setting targets for reducing businesses’ energy use in return for discounts on the climate change levy on their energy bills. The consultation will enable new targets to be put in place from January 2021, allowing the extension of the scheme beyond its current March 2023 end date to March 2025.

In addition to extending the CCA for thousands of companies currently in the scheme, the consultation will also allow new businesses to apply to join and gain vital access to savings as of January 2021. Under the current rules, businesses have not been able to join the scheme since October 2018.

By joining the scheme businesses will also be helping the fight against climate change. Since the CCA was introduced in 2013, it is estimated to have helped companies reduce energy use by up to 2.3 terawatt hours a year - enough energy to power 140,000 homes.

More information here .
Every Wednesday at 3.00 pm , supportive members of Hounslow Chamber, Garner & Hancock will be providing a series of webinars via Zoom on the following topics:

1. Redundancy advice and settlement agreements - 22/04/20
2. Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney - 29/04/20
3. Commercial Leases - Getting out of them and renegotiating them - 06/05/20
4. Buying or Selling a Property During this time - Are you serious? - 13/05/20
5. Landlord and Tenant - Landlords’ Rights during Lockdown - 20/05/20 

For more information and to book onto these webinars, follow this link:  or call 0208 232 9560 

Please see the latest message from the Metropolitan Police regarding the latest Scam that has been highlighted:

A more recent scam concerns fake texts purporting to be from UK_GOV, so please be aware:

The Government has only sent one text message to the public regarding new rules about staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Any others claiming to be from UK Government are false. “Criminals are able to use spoofing technology to send texts and emails impersonating organisations that you know and trust. We would remind anyone who receives an unexpected text or email asking for personal or financial details not click on the links or attachments, and don’t respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial details .”

Following a successful trial, from Monday 20 April, buses in London will temporarily become middle-door only boarding as part of Transport for London’s (TfL’s) efforts to help combat coronavirus.

This means the front doors will no longer be in use across the bus network. Please only use the middle doors to board the bus and allow others to exit the bus first before boarding. There is currently no need to touch in. 

The vast majority of people have followed the instructions of the Mayor and Government and have stopped travelling. The number of people using buses has plummeted by around 85%. This is essential to stop the spread of coronavirus.

It is essential that everyone continues not to travel and does not return to the transport network.

Our staff are working hard to support the NHS and protect all Londoners. Please help them and continue to follow the instructions not to travel for as long as it takes to defeat coronavirus.

Stay at home. Don't travel. Save lives.
Help for the Creative Sector

Carl Schoenfeld from UWL has kindly offered to run some creative media business clinics for the Creatives Network. 
The information is included below, and you can also find it on Twitter

Good News:

Barratt Developments Plc is this week donating 400 defibrillators from its sites across the UK to help in the fight against coronavirus.

The housebuilder is donating the defibrillators, usually used on its construction sites, to St John Ambulance. The West London division of Barratt Developments has provided 7 pieces of the life-saving equipment, from its new homes’ developments locally, including one from High Street Quarter on Alexandra Road, TW3.

St John Ambulance is now on the frontline supporting people and communities through coronavirus, helping to take the strain from the NHS. It has started a nationwide appeal – called Take the Strain – to source desperately needed equipment to help it in the vital role it is playing, including 1,000 defibrillators.

Responding to the call for help, Barratt has committed to donating the defibrillators from all its sites – an estimated 400 – worth more than £300,000. Teams from Barratt are urgently gathering up the defibrillators from their sites across the country so they can get them to where they are needed in the next few days.

As part of its UK response to support the fight against coronavirus, Barratt Developments has also donated £100,000 to the NHS Charities Together appeal which supports 250 NHS charities across the UK collectively.

These moves follow an earlier initiative last week from the housebuilder to donate personal protective items, including thousands of high quality FFP3 face masks, gloves and hand sanitiser, to local NHS hospitals and social care services.

Ed McCoy, Sales and Marketing Director for Barratt West London, said: “We are pleased to be able to donate this essential equipment to where it is urgently needed – and to help St John Ambulance and the NHS who are on the frontline. We are indebted to our NHS and so where we can assist with their efforts and help to save lives, both here in Hounslow and across the UK, we will continue to do everything we can.”
Twickenham stadium offered for NHS medical use by head of RFU Bill Sweeney amid coronavirus crisis (courtesy of daily mail online)

Twickenham stadium has been offered up for medical use to provide additional  NHS  space during the  coronavirus  outbreak.

RFU CEO Bill Sweeney has also said that the hotel adjoining the stadium could be used to accommodate doctors and nurses.

‘We are available for any purposes,’ said Sweeney, in regards to the home of English rugby.
Amanda Holden surprises NHS staff outside West Middlesex hospital during coronavirus crisis (courtesy of Metro)

Amanda Holden has been throwing her support behind the NHS during the coronavirus crisis and decided to surprise hospital staff on Thursday night.

During this week’s #ClapForOurCarers initiative, Amanda took things one step further and took a break from quarantine to surprise staff working at West Middlesex hospital to show her appreciation.

Dressed in a rainbow ‘thank you’ tee that has been specially designed to raise donations for the NHS, Amanda stopped by the hospital entrance to clap as soon as it hit 8pm.

She was joined by Hounslow fire brigade who flashed their sirens and tooted their horns while showing their appreciation, all while keeping their distance to adhere to social distancing rules.
Hounslow Chamber of Commerce is the primary support, networking, and representation organisation in west London for SMEs.

We support the interests, the commercial aspirations and the investment for some 18,000 firms - from Chiswick to Feltham, Heathrow to Osterley and Brentford to Bedfont - the Chamber is the voice for all businesses located in the borough.