What’s it like to furlough yourself?
The government’s voluntary furloughing scheme for employers opened for business on Monday 20 April. Within a day the government reported 140,000 employers had logged on to reclaim money for furloughed staff.
Any employer can apply to furlough employees, and that includes freelancers who run a company and take a salary from it using a PAYE scheme.
Please note: this blog post refers to the scheme as it was launching in May.
Furloughing is no long an option unless an employee was furloughed by 10 June.
You can read about the Job Retention Bonus here >
So how easy is it to apply?
Reports seem to indicate the portal has a been pretty straight forward to use. One freelancer I spoke to says it took him 20 minutes and wasn’t too cumbersome.
He also has some advice which I’m happy to pass on here:
- You only get a 30 minute window to fill in the details, so collect everything together in advance
[UPDATE 11 May 2020: There is a now ‘save and return’ function, so you can do part of the application, save it, and come back later.]
- Depending on how you answer some of the questions you might be asked to give your bank’s branch address – presumably main address for online banks would work just as well
- If you use the Employment Allowance scheme you need to report it in Euros as it’s officially considered State Aid
He also has this advice:
You get no email confirmation so you have to note the reference at the end of the claim or you can not get it.
You get a summary page near the end of submission to check. Worth doing a print or print to PDf of this and the final confirmation for your records!
Considering this scheme was only conceived a month ago, it’s extraordinary that it’s up and running so quickly.
It also appears people are finding it quite user-friendly.
HMRC have said that the money should be dropping into employers’ bank accounts by 30 April.
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Posted on 23 April 2020