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.
So how easy is it to apply?
Reports seem to indicate the portal is 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