ADVO PAYROLL COVID-19 UPDATE: UK financial measures for businesses, claiming through CJRS & SSP


In our latest update we summarise further actions to consider following the launch yesterday of the Government’s claims portal and guide to claiming through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). We also include where to find further information on claiming back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

In addition, we wish to update you on the delivery of some of our payroll services which have had to change as we continue to work under the lockdown restrictions.

Claiming from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme



You can download your copy of the Government guide to claiming on the CJRS here.


Furloughing employees

Enclosed above is a link to the ‘step by step guide for employers’ provided by HM Government which provides useful information on claiming from the CJRS.

Under the Corona virus job retention scheme, you can furlough staff that are not able to do any work due to the government initiated lockdown, and pay these staff 80% of their usual salary*, and reclaim the net pay element and also the employer NI liability. Employer Pension contributions to the mandatory minimum level can also be claimed.

Furlough was from 1 March 2020, so can be backdated, it will currently run for a minimum of 4 months. To qualify an employee must have been on your PAYE scheme on 28th February 2020.

*Usual salary can include any regular commissions and regular overtime that has been paid before. You cannot include discretionary bonus or commissions or tips. Company directors can be furloughed with the employer claiming back 80% of the actual salary and related pension and NI costs subject to the upper salary limit of £2,500 per month. This excludes dividends.

In summary:

  • To be eligible for CJRS an employer must agree with the employee that they are a ‘furloughed worker.
  • Employees must be notified that they have been furloughed.
  • Employees must be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks.
  • The employee cannot do any work for the employer that has furloughed them
  • You can claim 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per furloughed employee.
  • A separate claim is needed for each PAYE scheme.
  • You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020.
  • An RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 19 March 2020.
  • You must have a UK bank account. You will need to confirm whether personal or business.

Further clarification on Furloughed staff is outlined at the bottom of this email.

We suggest that you read the enclosed guide carefully ensuring that you understand what information is needed as a claim cannot be made without ALL of the information outlined in the guide. Once a successful claim is made you will receive payment six working days after making the CJRS application.

We suggest that you refer to the HMRC website if you need further information. You can access the website here.

advo has tested the CJRS claims process and found this to be straightforward.

If you are an advo payroll client and need further assistance we are here to help.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

It may be possible for you to use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to reclaim employees’ coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).You can check to see if you are eligible and find out more about the scheme and how to claim here.


A reminder that advo payroll will for the time-being no longer be able to post payslips and so all will move online via your employee portal, where they can upload, or be emailed.

All advo clients have access to online management and staff portals.

If you have any questions or need to set up your staff online portal then please get in touch with the advo payroll team on

HR Legal Requirements

You should also be aware that it is a legal requirement that staff are informed if they are furloughed. If you have not already written to your staff you need to do this. advo hr clients have been provided with a template letter. If you would like a copy of this letter template or need additional support with managing the support of your staff then you can email advo hr on

You can view the latest Government financial advice to businesses in full here. We are here to help. If you are an advo client and need guidance on your payroll or payroll related queries included in the enclosed update then please get in touch with the team on

Andy Henderson, advo Payroll Manager

Further information on Furloughed employees:

You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC on an RTI (Real Time Information) submission on or before 19 March 2020. This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 19 March 2020. Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.

Employees with variable pay (e.g. Zero hours contracts) can be paid the same months earnings from the previous year, or an average of their 2019-2020 tax year pay. We are awaiting guidance for irregular hourly staff where there is no historic pay pattern.

If the 80% takes the salary below the applicable minimum wage level this is acceptable for furloughed employees. If a furloughed employee takes part in training then the employer must make up any shortfall to the minimum wage for those training hours so that the employee is paid at least to the applicable minimum wage.

When an employee is furloughed, they cannot undertake any activity for the company.

You are able to repeat furlough claims for employees so if the time period extends further claims can be submitted, within the current 4 month window. From HMRC advice you will be able to claim whilst running the payroll, or shortly before it is paid.

In essence the scheme will work on the basis of the employer continuing the employment in the normal way (albeit at 80%) and then eligible costs are refunded.



You can download your copy of the Government guide to claiming on the CJRS here.