Furlough scheme ‘still shutting out new starters not paid before 19 March’


Changes to the cut-off date for employees to be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme have been criticised and still leave many who started new jobs last month without an income, it has been claimed.

Yesterday (15 April) HM Revenue & Customs revised the furlough scheme guidance to state that companies can claim for employees who were on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020, instead of 28 February, provided that the employees were on a Real Time Information (RTI) submission made on or before 19 March.

Sadly, anti-abuse measures will always claim innocent victims but there should at least be fewer of those now than before” –  James Froud, McCarthy Denning

An a RTI submission is submitted to HMRC every time an employee is paid and includes information about tax and other deductions. Usually employers will submit an RTI monthly, even if they operate a weekly or fortnightly payroll.

While the change will mean some new starters will become eligible for furlough where they had not been under previous iterations of the guidance, many will remain without an income if their company submitted their RTI for that month after 19 March.

A Twitter poll by Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis found that the majority (68.1%) of workers saw their monthly pay day fall between the 25th and the end of the month.

HMRC chief executive Jim Harra has also stated that most organisations have payroll dates towards the end of the month. Speaking to the BBC Today programme about the claims system opening next week, he said: “Most employers run their payroll on the last banking day of the month which would be 30 April and there is time to get your claims in in time and to get money before then.”

Twitter user @lauradeborah said: “no new starter will have been on PAYE as early as 19th March, when they only are paid the end of March! This change has helped 2% of the people who are desperately pleading for help.”

The new date will bring very few additional people into the scope of the scheme, said Toni Robinson, managing director of Nucleus HR. She added: “It is expected that very few additional employees will be captured into the scheme as a result of the additional criteria and those that started with a new employer on or after 1 March with a monthly payroll that submitted their RTI after the 19 March would still not qualify to be furloughed with the new employer.”

James Froud, head of employment at law firm McCarthy Denning, said that the government had attempted to bring as many people as possible into the scope of the scheme while maintaining a “sensible line in the sand”.

“However, whether intended or otherwise, there is no doubt that the RTI requirement – which had not been seen in previous versions of the guidance – will severely restrict the numbers who benefit. Sadly, anti-abuse measures will always claim innocent victims but there should at least be fewer of those now than before,” he said.

The RTI requirement may also cause problems for employers with staff who were on the payroll on the previous 28 February cut-off date, said Laura D’Arcy, partner at law firm BLM.

“Whilst some new employees may have been on a PAYE payroll on 28th February, they may not have been included in an RTI submission in February or before the 19th March cut-off, as their first pay check was due at the end of March. This means that employees who were previously thought to be eligible might no longer qualify for furlough claims through their employer,” she said.

The requirement for furloughed employees’ data to be on an RTI submission before 19 March is likely there to prevent employers from making fraudulent claims for wages for non-existent employees, suggested Emma Vennesson of law firm Faegre Drinker.

She said: “This new requirement is likely an attempt on HMRC’s part to prevent fraud and ensure that employers can only claim for employees and wages that HMRC were aware of before the introduction of the CJRS. Without that requirement, there would be a risk that employers could disingenuously add extra employees to their payroll or increase employees’ salaries, furlough them, and fraudulently claim for reimbursement from HMRC.

“No doubt this caveat also assists HMRC in ensuring they have accurate, historic data that they can review and audit once the CJRS is closed, and employers should ensure they keep clear records of their use of the furlough leave scheme.”

Although there have been several revisions to the furlough scheme guidance this month, Froud said it was important to note that the latest guidance has been given legal effect via a “Treasury direction”, which means there was unlikely to be any further amendment.

“This does beg the rather significant question of whether the government is entitled to shift the goalposts in this way, after millions of organisations have already taken decisions relying on earlier published guidance,” he added.

110 Responses to Furlough scheme ‘still shutting out new starters not paid before 19 March’

  1. Avatar
    Colin 17 Apr 2020 at 9:24 am #

    This does not help us at all, we were not on the payroll till the end of March and still do not qualify for the furlough scheme. Surely this needs looking at again, there must be something that can be done to help the thousands like myself who started a new job and now have nothing..

    • Avatar
      Lindsay Richings 23 Apr 2020 at 3:17 pm #

      So frustrating I’ve worked everyday since 15 in secure jobs. I changed job on 5 th March and started with a new employer on the 9th and I didn’t receive a salary from him til 28th March now I’m stuck no money to raise 2 kids on my own with no help. I’ve worked all these years getting a mortgage and now I’m at risk of losing all I’ve worked so hard for

    • Avatar
      Christopher ozyurt 23 Apr 2020 at 9:11 pm #

      I don’t understand, I trying to help two Spanish people out with a some kind of income, “the facts” two Spanish decide to get togeather , have a new bigining, they pay 600 euro each to a agency in alicati. The agent finds a job in Padstow, cornwall for a 8 month duration of employmeant contract. Beleaive me we need hard working staff in Padstow has if the invisible virus never came to the uk, Padstow and all other surrounding areas would of been packed like a can of sardines. However this never happerned for the Easter bank holidays nor the Easter half term. But still these spaniads were invited in to our company, shown the ropes of evening shifts and early morning shifts within the hotel and restaurant industry. From the 7 th march they were suited and booted with uniforms and actually doing the job roles, one front of house with a such inviting smile to gain happy returning customers, the other ” partner of the waitress with such a smile”former fish monger from Spain worked in our kitchen working hard with all preparations required to feed the 10,000 or at least it seemed we were feeding the army of tourists and the army…ha ha lol. They were interviewed for national insurance number 16 th march has they were on a waiting list . This was Truro job centre, I actually drove them there to make sure they got there on time, the lady was wonderful, helpfull and informed the Spanish there national security insurance number would arrive 4/5 weeks time but they can start work without a national security insurance number which they already did start… they acheaive 40 hours in a week each.
      Then BANG the news of prime minister announces 20th march 17,35 pm all pubs ,clubs,hotel and restaurant s to not open tomorrow.
      These Spanish are provided staff acomadation “at least they have a roof over there head” we all thought it was going to blow over, we all thought we be back to work, we all really didn’t know what was going on, and the numbers were just rising from which his just a terrible terrible time for all. The Spanish still don’t have there national insurance number and there bank accounts were only just open so basically they were on a contract, but not on the payroll because of number not here on time and the system “well there his no system for this corona” so they were not entitled to furlough paymeant because they started a job just at the wrong time . “I don’t feel that’s there fault or anybody fault but where his the justice for such a non system of a arising invisible corona virus” so I decided to help them claim universal credit, omg we were 9567 in a quer. Finally there online interview was available and was informed they would know how much money they would receive on the 27 th April… but 14 th April they received email journal of there application ” application decision declined ” God I feel so bad for these guys. Lucky lucky another email came though from the company we work for, furlough paymeant agreement via docusign. I felt yeah, the company going to take care of them, I told them to sign and let’s hope you get some money, all other members of staff signed there agreements and received 80% of there wadges. The Spanish NO. All because they were not on the payroll befor the 19 th march. I now really trying to keep them both above water with doing regular groceries and meat , fish shopping for them to survive, hopefully the other trick I have his to get him work on a fishing boat and she a Tesco supermarket job, the great thing his they don’t mind what they do , they want to work and they want to buy there own shopping…

      • Avatar
        Christopher 30 Apr 2020 at 11:19 pm #

        Yeahhhhh justice at the end of the tunnel for this long ordeal of the Spanish not entitled to universal credit nor the furlough paymeant.
        Well they both received money in there bank accounts today, furlough paymeant
        Succeeded.. yeahhhhhhhhh
        I so happy and so proud on not giveing up on them, also to thank the company we are working for. We say to the nation of all front line nhs, thankyou, I want to add a thankyou to st Austell brewery for taking care all there staff including now the Spanish.
        Also a big thankyou to captain tom, who his just amazeing for the millions he has generated for the NHS……

        • Avatar
          Andrew guy 29 May 2020 at 5:25 pm #

          How have Spanish workers received money when I have English staff who were employed on the 20th February. But our payroll ends on 20th of the month so missed the date , and got nothing?

        • Avatar
          Paulo Jorge Portugal Cardoso 31 Oct 2020 at 9:54 pm #

          How you did could you tell me please?

      • Avatar
        Christopher ozyurt 29 Apr 2020 at 10:28 pm #

        Hi, still the 31 st march his still no good for these poor Spanish has they cart be put on the payroll because still waiting there national insurance number, I called hmcr but they cart help until national insurance his generated because they are not on any data base and cart be identified… I not give up on them, I think within time there will be justice for them… regards chris there only freind at a time like this…

    • Avatar
      Elizabeth 27 Apr 2020 at 12:51 pm #

      I started in my new job prior to the original date of the 28th of February but payroll was not sent until after the 19th March. I am now required to come into work when I am caring for my elderly mother

    • Avatar
      Carol hampton 6 May 2020 at 5:52 pm #

      This has happened to my partner just because his p45 was not submitted to HRMC now he not receiving any money which is very bad he worked all his life over 35yrs and now left with nothing we could loose our home, we have both had many anxieties and can’t sleep and the thought of loosing our home is terrible! Not through our own fault!!!!

    • Avatar
      Ian 10 May 2020 at 11:22 am #

      Hi. Colin. I’m in exactly the same position as yourself. This is totally unacceptable !!..
      I contacted my local MP & he was trying to push the Chancellor to extend payroll date to end of march. No payroll date should be set. We should be Furloughed by the relevant employer at the time of lockdown ( common sense ). Asking previous employer to be re hired to be paid Furlough is a form of begging & do not have to furlough you by law.

    • Avatar
      Valerie Coutts 3 Jun 2020 at 8:12 am #

      This affects me too, along with the thousands of others. I was employed from 24th February but first pay 1st April and therefore RTI submission 23rd March.
      The government announced the updated employment rules on 20th March but employers had to have the RTI submission in by 19th March. This was not announced on the 20th tho! Seems rather sneaky to me! I’m not sure how you expect people to survive on no income.

  2. Avatar
    Adrian L. 17 Apr 2020 at 11:23 am #

    started new job 2nd of march but company ussually pays each month on 1st so my payroll hasn’t been processed until April. I am now being excluded but my payroll shows clearly I was working a full month in a full time role. If I was being paid weekly then I would have been in included. But where’s the fairness in that ?

    • Avatar
      David B 24 Apr 2020 at 2:07 pm #

      I’m in the same boat as you with many many others, I started work on Monday 2nd March and got paid on the 24th, hard times indeed. Life is not always fair and it never had been, time for prayer and a quick end to this pendemic.

  3. Avatar
    Phil J 17 Apr 2020 at 12:17 pm #

    We now have a situation where someone who previously could be furloughed (and has been) as they started on the 24th Feb, is no longer applicable to the scheme due to the fact that they were not submitted on the RTI scheme until the 30th March due to our pay period being from the 21st to the 20th of each month. We have furloughed this person and now have to tell them that they are not getting the 80% and we have to let them go?

    • Avatar
      DAN jay 20 Apr 2020 at 6:29 pm #

      I am also in this same person where I was told I was furloughed and now I am not even though I started work on the 24th Feb.

      • Avatar
        martin 4 May 2020 at 2:58 pm #

        I was told I was furloughed and now I am not getting any income.I started working on the 19th of December but my employer did not submit my info until the 31st of March! So no rights and no money

  4. Avatar
    David Marshall 17 Apr 2020 at 12:46 pm #

    I understand the need to cut off fraud but surely it makes sense to move the cut off date to the 19th march which has been bone and steel a separate date of 31st of march as RTI date as would catch all eligible people in their time of need. All payments of wages were done by the 31st march which was a fortnight prior to this change being made .

  5. Avatar
    Ryan McGuire 17 Apr 2020 at 1:31 pm #

    I started a new job on the 9th of March and was paid on the 25th but I am not eligible for furlough and i get nothing! more needs to be done.

    • Avatar
      Jacqueline Foster 17 Apr 2020 at 6:47 pm #

      I started new job on 2nd March, now laid off without pay. New changes mean nothing to me,. Totally unfair, especially having worked all my life to get less than half on Universal Credit. Cannot manage basic outgoings.

      • Avatar
        Carrla 7 May 2020 at 5:49 pm #

        Same here, started on the 2th of March, signed contract, paid monthly, first pay on the 6th of April, of course very bright people from gov didn’t think that people don’t get paid till next month!! I expect to be covered by this schame, you closed my work place, you took job away from me n my only income, pay for it now!!

    • Avatar
      Man 17 Apr 2020 at 8:07 pm #

      Similar situation here. Started on the 7th paid on the 25th. This is a massive oversight by the treasury.

    • Avatar
      Mary Morris 22 Apr 2020 at 10:57 pm #

      This is even worse more people will not qualify

  6. Avatar
    Peter Malins 17 Apr 2020 at 4:17 pm #

    So convicted of being a false employee with no redress but still have PAYE and Ni deducted and paid to the government. That’s bad.

    My employer convicted of the same and paying Employers Ni. That’s Bad

    Oh and the government is saying that organised crime had a large number of PAYE schemes at the end of February. Either that’s ridiculous or extremely worrying !

    And the whole point of RTI was to make sure people employees tax records were upto date with every payment made to thm and they can’t identify unreal ones !!

    Eight letter word starting in B and ending in T

    Complete and utter farce

    • Avatar
      Jo Copeland 22 Apr 2020 at 2:32 pm #

      I started my employment on 19/02 and have been now told that I was not included on my companies RTI submission on 21/02 and therefore will not get the furlough payment. Not sure what to do now, am I eligible for Universal credit?

      • Avatar
        David B 24 Apr 2020 at 2:13 pm #

        Yes you should be if you and your partner have savings of less than £16,000 and that includes active private pensions.

        • Avatar
          Andrew 29 May 2020 at 5:45 pm #

          Universal credit is a joke. £1.80 off my council tax a month, my bill is band D, £180 odd quid a month and then I’d get £ 100 a month universal credit. , I started work on 21st feb paid monthly last Woking day of month 20th. I’d pay more in tax a month than universal credit is offering me a year. Forget it. My rent is 1000 per month. Better off on benefits, they have lost nothing.

  7. Avatar
    Miklos Zrinyi 17 Apr 2020 at 5:13 pm #

    I started my job at 2nd of March. I was so sad about the first cut-off date and felt it’s not fair. After finally on the 15th of April I’ve heard about the extension I felt some hope, but I found out this was just the ‘hold out the carrot”. After speaking with the owner of my company he notified me about the RTI and as the cut-off date of my place is on 25th of the month they submitted the RTI on 25th of March for those who where working from 25th of February.

    I hope you all agree with me if this would be extended at least until 31st of March everyone would be happy and could benefit from it.

    Kind Regards,
    Miklos Zrinyi

  8. Avatar
    Mrs wilson 17 Apr 2020 at 7:49 pm #

    I started my new job also on the second of March and carnt believe that the system is getting away with this at the end of the day we carnt help that our employers pays monthly instead of weekly we have still worked all week and are due to be paid we are not responsible for companies banking it within the company and there pay system been at the end of the month WE HAVE WORKED AMONTH IN ADVANCE isn’t this enough !!!!!

  9. Avatar
    Darius 18 Apr 2020 at 9:39 am #

    My Mrs has started new job on 2nd March she got her first wage end of March but RTI will be submitted on 19th April. Still useless!

  10. Avatar
    Duncan L 18 Apr 2020 at 2:46 pm #

    Similar to other posts, having re-entered PAYE employment on the 2nd March, I was initially delighted to see the government recognising the sizeable gap in their furlough policy, only to have just been informed by my employer that the RTI was only submitted on the 20th March when I received my first (fortnightly) pay.
    So having first missed out because the company only starts new recruits on the first Monday of a month (when I could have started before the end of February), I now miss out, presumably alongside thousands of others, because my employer only paid me a whole week after my first fortnight’s work.
    Utterly, utterly gut wrenching. The cut-off needs to be changed to those EMPLOYED by the 19th March, with suitable checking of subsequent RTI submissions to prevent fraud.

  11. Avatar
    Roger Husler 18 Apr 2020 at 4:24 pm #

    Well I do not want to be an ‘innocent victim’ All I know is that I was working for my new company beginning of March, I have an audit trail, car, personal expense claims, meeting invites/notes external client meetings (who could all verify). Now I am off work for two months with no pay and financial ruin and my colleagues are claiming £2000+ after deductions, gardening and doing DIY. This is not right, when this is over we all need to unite to sue the Government for the money and any financial loss. Surely there is an American law firm who would take on no win no fee for 100,000+ @ £7500 (3 months) even at 10% commission it is worth £75 million in fees.

    • Avatar
      S 21 Apr 2020 at 3:02 pm #

      Now extended to 4 months 😂 I’d be interested

  12. Avatar
    Mohammed abu nasir 18 Apr 2020 at 7:02 pm #

    I started a new job on the 1st of March and was paid on the 17th april but I am not eligible for furlough says my company.what am i supposed to do?

    • Avatar
      David B 24 Apr 2020 at 2:20 pm #

      You can apply for universal credit it you and your partner do not have savings or active pension of over £16,000.

      • Avatar
        Andrew 29 May 2020 at 5:44 pm #

        Universal credit is a joke. £1.80 off my council tax a month, my bill is band D, £180 odd quid a month and then I’d get £ 100 a month universal credit. , I started work on 21st feb paid monthly last Woking day of month 20th. I’d pay more in tax a month than universal credit is offering me a year. Forget it. My rent is 1000 per month. Better off on benefits, they have lost nothing.

      • Avatar
        wayne n 3 Jun 2020 at 12:39 pm #

        in reality as i have found to my cost if you live with a partner who is still working universal credit will pay you around £70 a month starting 5 weeks after your claim by which point i had been laid off for over 8 weeks with no income myself just my wifes £380 a week. UC does not take any expenditure into account what so ever, so if you have lost £600 a week in wages due to losing your income how does the equivalent of around £7 a week from the date i last worked help in any way? like many with 2 children this will not cover any bills mortgage utilities cars phones council tax water rates shopping etc etc

  13. Avatar
    Les Sherriff 19 Apr 2020 at 11:58 am #

    I started a new job with a company on 25th February having previously completed 13 weeks trial period as an agency worker for them. Now worked for the same company for five months. Monthly pay 25 th every month. I got paid 25th March. My company told me I was furloughed on 80% pay. Then Saturday 18th April I received a letter saying I’m not eligible for furlough. There RTI date is 23rd of March when I would of been added to the payroll. That means I miss furlough by 4 days!
    On the first announcement of furlough I qualified and on the second with the RTI included I no longer qualify!
    Thought this was meant to help include more people !
    I have 2 children, a mortgage, my wife is a key worker in social care. Your not helping us you’ve made us feel victimised!
    This is disgusting and nearly 70% of people on monthly pay get paid at end of month so why the 19th cut off date??
    This needs looking at again mr chancellor!
    This needs a

    • Avatar
      wmn12 3 Jun 2020 at 1:20 pm #

      how were you paid when working through an agency? you should be able to be furloughed through the agency if you were paid paye

  14. Avatar
    Lee Reay 19 Apr 2020 at 6:46 pm #

    Started new job on 1 March. Letter of employment as proof.
    Received a full months pay at end of month..Payslip as proof.
    Employers do their FTS and RTI on last day of the month as does every company who pays monthly.
    Now no furlough and no pay.

  15. Avatar
    Kenneth Abbott 19 Apr 2020 at 7:51 pm #

    My daughter of 17 started a new job on the 9th of March, and was paid on the 30th of March,which means she does not qualify for the furlough scheme, and has also been laid off in the process as she does not qualify for furlough, and was on a 3 month probation period.Many thanks to the government.This has caused her great upset

    • Avatar
      Paula Hewlett 27 Apr 2020 at 10:05 am #

      21 yr old son in same position. no furlough, no job, no “new” jobs available to apply for.

      My thibking is that if you were employed on that date (19th March) you should qualify, rather than using the RTI deadline, which is irrelevant to most employees!

      Adding false hope as usual.

  16. Avatar
    Sandra Boughey 20 Apr 2020 at 12:00 pm #

    I to started working on the 5th March on a monthly salary
    Paid on 31st of March and RTI ONLY submitted then
    Now can’t be furloughed

  17. Avatar
    Chris 20 Apr 2020 at 1:52 pm #

    Here’s another variation on the RTI requirement issue.

    As a semi-retired, but still salaried director of my own company, I don’t take dividends and I pay myself my salary on an annual basis on 5th April, submitting an RTI that shows the tax and NI liabilities.

    But presumably because that RTI is after 19th March, my Employer Account with HMRC is now saying that it can’t find any employees, ie I don’t qualify, despite the fact that I’ve been on the RTI system since it became compulsory for small businesses.

    • Avatar
      Bobby 21 Apr 2020 at 2:46 am #

      I am in exactly the same boat, I received my annual salary in one lump in March and submitted the RTI at the end of March and paid tax and NI.
      My business has had to close down due to the lockdown.
      Today when I went to claim Furlough I was shocked to see there were no eligible employees. I am distraught and almost suicidal 🙁

    • Avatar
      J Davidson 21 Apr 2020 at 9:51 am #

      Exactly the same for me, run a small Dental Lab, I am the Director and only employee. I run An annual payroll Through the PAYE system using an external payroll company. I’m entitled to the furlough scheme as much as anyone. However because of an annual payroll I don’t quality.

      so unfair . I’ve worked since I was 16 years old now in my 40s I have never been unemployed and asked for no help from anyone and now the only time that I need help I’m told that I don’t quality.

      Don’t understand why hmrc hasn’t thought of the thousands of small business that submit payroll in the same way.

      I just can’t see how I’m going to reopen my business, business interruption loans won’t help my business as I cannot afford to pay anything back.

      • Avatar
        Rupert 22 Apr 2020 at 2:44 pm #

        Just seen this and I’m in the same boat too. I take annual salary from my small business and submitted RTIs during last year, including one saying this was the final payment in the tax year. NI paid in full (and actually due a rebate!). However, no record on me as an employee on the system on 19th March. Something urgently needs to be done about this.

      • Avatar
        Chris 22 Apr 2020 at 5:12 pm #

        Guys, I’ve started a query on this through the HMRC helpline.

        I got passed on from the original advisor, but ended up with a (“technical”) advisor who confirmed that she could definitely see a “payroll history”, (though obviously not a RTI for the year 19-20). She sounded as though she understood the issue, but couldn’t resolve it herself and has passed it up the chain. It’s a 48 hr turnround on queries, so I’m not due a reply until tomorrow (23 April).

        My position will be that while there might not be an 19-20 RTI before 19 March, there are RTI’s for previous years, plus there’s ample evidence to show that HMRC clearly know that I was on the payroll prior to 19 March eg Notice of Coding letters referencing my personal NI no.

        Suggest you try the same approach. You’ll find this contact info on the HMRC coronavirus pages:-

        0800 024 1222

        Opening times:

        Monday to Friday: 8am to 4pm

        Follow the auto-answers for “eligibility” and make sure to have your Employer’s PAYE reference to hand. (They might call it Employers UTR (“Unique Tax Reference”).)

        • Avatar
          Kasia 23 Apr 2020 at 1:39 pm #

          Same situation – please let us know whether you hear anything positive!

        • Avatar
          Owen 23 Apr 2020 at 2:42 pm #

          Hi Chris. Just read your post and your position is really similar to mine and would love to hear the outcome with HMRC. I started new job on March 2 and because payroll run at end of month I never hit the criteria of furlough. Ex boss is great and has done his best but to no avail. If you get a positive outcome he will without doubt furlough me. Fingers crossed. Regards Owen

        • Avatar
          Sharon Vickers 23 Apr 2020 at 7:52 pm #

          I am sole director on PAYE for 10 years keep receiving the same message have P60s to prove.
          Could not take a salary until late in March due lack of funds,
          The employer is registered for PAYE online, but our records show that on 19 March 2020 there were no employees on the payroll. Furloughed employees must have been on the employer’s PAYE payroll on 19 March 2020 to be eligible for this scheme.
          I have never taken divededs.

        • Avatar
          Carl 24 Apr 2020 at 5:42 pm #


          I’m in the same position, in that I’m a sole director and I run annual payroll at the end of March. I have history from previous years, but the system says I’m not eligible.

          I’ve been waiting for a call back from a technician for three days and chasing every day. I’m hoping they are working on a fix in the background for this one.

          If anyone has any further updates, it would be good to hear them.

          • Avatar
            Chris 26 Apr 2020 at 8:31 pm #

            Hi all (especially fellow sole directors).

            I chased this on Thursday (23rd) to be told that I was still in the queue and while I’ve not had the call back from HMRC “technical” yet, a bit more digging tells me that it’s unlikely that anyone at HMRC “working level” will offer to change anything.

            It looks like the problem is in the detailed Treasury Direction which, in effect, becomes the applicable legislation.

            It’s the document here:-


            which HMRC have obviously prepared for Rishi’s signature.

            You may have to copy the above into your browser to get to the document, but

            At Para 5 (a) (i), it says

            “The costs of employment in respect of which an employer may make a claim for payment
            under CJRS are costs which-

            (a) relate to an employee-

            (i) to whom the employer made a payment of earnings in the tax year
            2019-20 which is shown in a return under Schedule A1 to the PAYE
            Regulations that is made on or before a day that is a relevant CJRS

            I’m assuming that “return” at sub-para (i) means a RTI, so that’s the killer. They’re introducing what amounts to a “test of employment” that’s wholly dependent on a RTI having been submitted in the tax year 2019-20 BEFORE 19th March, irrespective of what payroll / employment history there might have been in previous tax years.

            Supposedly, it’s intended to prevent fraud by ensuring that fake employees can’t be added, as if HMRC didn’t have access to any number of ways of checking that an employee was genuine!

            If it’s any help, it turns out that the professional accountants are also onto this, as they’ve got any number of clients for whom they do annual RTI’s.

            It’s seems to me that it’s really a case where the “letter of the law” (ie the detail in the Treasury Direction) doesn’t match the “general spirit” of what’s been offered, (and that’s even by reference to HRMC’s own guidance on who qualifies), so I propose to give it a couple more days, then I think I’ll be onto my MP.

            In simple terms, I’ll be saying that it’s a totally unreasonable and arbitrary “test of employment” if it can disqualify someone like me who’s had their own business and PAYE payroll scheme history for approx 16 years.

        • Avatar
          Sandra James 26 Apr 2020 at 3:02 pm #

          I’m in same boat. Did you hear anything back from the helpline?

          • Avatar
            Carl 28 Apr 2020 at 3:33 pm #

            I’ve just had a call back (after 7 days) from a HMRC technician telling me I am not eligible because my annual payroll was not submitted by 19th March. I asked if I had any way to appeal and the answer was ‘no’. I couldn’t anything else form him.

            I’m not sure if they have made a final decision today and are letting everyone know. I’m not sure where to take this from here.

            has anyone else heard further from HMRC?

          • Avatar
            Marilyn 3 May 2020 at 11:04 am #

            I’m in exactly the same position. Went through HMRC webchat giving every relevant reference you could think of. Apparently referred to a ‘Technician’ and promised answer within 72 hrs. 10 days later still waiting. This is such a common situation – surely they can refer back to the previous 26 years (in my case) of payments

        • Avatar
          M Dodd 29 May 2020 at 2:54 pm #

          Hi I am in exactly the same boat been submitting quarterly for years but this current year was advised by accountant to do an annual submission . I contacted HMRC they are suppose to get back to you within 10 days it is now almost three weeks since my first call to them ??? utterly unfair and very stressful so many of us small business’s find ourselves in .

      • Avatar
        Mel Manser 17 Jun 2020 at 11:17 pm #

        I’m in exactly the same boat. Sickens me we are being left high and dry. I wrote to my MP and have still had no reply.

    • Avatar
      Andy 5 May 2020 at 1:22 pm #

      I have over 50 clients with this annual scheme issue. I have written to the Treasury about it and you can view my letter here:
      http://www.topbranchpartners.co.uk/letter_to_treasury.pdf .

      Feel free to feedback to me, to andy@topbranchpartners.co.uk .

      In addition to complaining to HMRC, I suggest you send my letter along with how this is affecting you to:
      (1) Your MP: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP

      (2) The Treasury: public.enquiries@hmtreasury.gov.uk

      (3) The Treasury Select Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/224/economic-impact-of-coronavirus/

      (4) Sign my petition (if/when they make it live): https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/318681/moderation-info

      • Avatar
        David 12 May 2020 at 4:25 pm #

        Finally found a discussion on this issue.

        I’m a sole director with one other employee (a family member) and we have both been paid annually in month 12 for the last seven and five years respectively.

        No P45s have been issued and the PAYE scheme is still open so surely we are still on the payroll.

        Very frustrating , in my late 50s and never claimed a penny of benefit since I was a student 40 years ago.

        My understanding is that an employee of one month standing qualifies for months of this scheme, but someone on the payroll for several years does not.

        I can see how it could be exploited , but surely this can be avoided by limiting the claim to the salary paid in the previous year(s).

        Andy, could i suggest a page on your website to bookmark, where you could post any updates that may come along.

      • Avatar
        Paul 14 May 2020 at 4:31 pm #

        Hi Andy,

        Have you had any comebacks from your letters? Any positive movement on directors on annual schemes being paid out at all? Thanks.

      • Avatar
        James Grove 27 May 2020 at 5:29 pm #

        Hi Andy

        Did you manage to get any update on this. Think we are all in the same situation and my accountants said they believe it will change soon but not heard anything up to 27th May.

        Very frustrating

      • Avatar
        James 2 Jun 2020 at 9:26 am #

        Hi Andy,
        Very helpful letter.
        I have just found out that I am in the same position as may of your clients after not working for 3 months. I assume there must be tens of thousands of us. I was wondering if you received any response or movement to you letters?
        The petition link is not active, can you advise if there is any other petition we can sign to recognise this deeply unjust and unfair system?
        Thank James

        • Avatar
          Paul 13 Jun 2020 at 7:08 pm #

          Has anyone any idea what is going on or what is going to happen from all this? We are now sitting in the middle of June, almost 3 months on from lock down on 23 March, and no answer has been given about annual payroll. Therefore no wages has been coming in whilst still on furlough!! Someone must have some sort of answer.

  18. Avatar
    Jake Jolliffe 20 Apr 2020 at 2:20 pm #

    started work on the 9th of March after leaving the military on the 5th. I got paid on the 27th march which is when my boss done the tax submission. Giving us all a glimmer of hope but reality is the change still hasn’t helped the majority of us.

  19. Avatar
    Nav 20 Apr 2020 at 5:03 pm #

    I started my job 2nd March, I don’t think my employer would have have submitted the RT1 after 19th March,I got paid for March but does this still mean I cannot be furloughed? it’s still unfair and just doesn’t make sense for the government to revise it again because no new starters RTI would have been submitted sooner than 19th March.

  20. Avatar
    Denis 21 Apr 2020 at 8:08 am #

    Seeing as the reason for the cut off date is to minimise fraudulent claims the government should have informed HMRC of a workaround for those whose claim is genuine. Employers know whose claim is genuine, why would any company (particularly large firms) risk the ramifications of fraud just for a few people. So, they should have put a system in place for people like us who are losing out just because of the date, there must be a way in the year 2020!
    My own situation is I started work on 2 March and I got paid via bi-weekly payroll, so my first pay was on 20 March! Absolutely feeling gutted and so so unfair! What a stupid rule! Which should be so simple to workaround to stop fraudulent claims.

  21. Avatar
    Daniel 21 Apr 2020 at 8:55 am #

    Started on 16th coming off unemployment to be told then that there is nothing I can claim for is one massive kick in the teeth when you are trying to do things the right way round. I understand about false claims but can this not be sorted out during or afterwards with extreme heavy financial penalties for those that are found to be cheating the system? At least those that are caught up in this no mans land can still support their families and get some food on the table.

  22. Avatar
    Joe 21 Apr 2020 at 1:16 pm #

    I started work on 24th February PAYE basis – I have employment engagement letter as proof.

    The business closed down temporarily due to Covid-19 at the beginning of March.
    I received 2 weeks SSP for the last 2 weeks of March and full pay for the remainder of the month.

    We get paid on the 25th of each month so agreed for the February days into be carried into March pay.

    I was delighted to receive a call from my MD confirming I can be furloughed due to starting prior to the 28th February cut off.

    I then receive a call following this update to say I can no longer receive furlough pay due to RTI changes and payroll being run after 19th March.

    Payroll was ran on 24th March…

    To say i’m worried, stressed and devastated is an understatement…

    If I got paid weekly I would be fine!

    This needs to change!!!

    I get the Government/HMRC are worried about companies exploiting furlough and adding individuals onto payroll hence the cut off but this isn’t stopping them if paid weekly!

    All there doing is causing finance pressure and job losses for new starters…

    Why not extend to the 30th March and investigate claims after the event???

    • Avatar
      David B 24 Apr 2020 at 2:24 pm #

      I share your pain, as I’m in the same position 😔

  23. Avatar
    Becca 21 Apr 2020 at 1:43 pm #

    After a long winded search for the perfect company and job role to progress to I finally found a light at the end of the tunnel and signed a contract with my new employer on March 11th due to commence my first day of employment on March 31st, between these dates I attended compulsory training for the company only to find out on March 24th that they are withdrawing my contract and cannot furlough me, now since the furlough amendment I still do not qualify since the RTI was not submitted within the cut off dates… its been an anxiety riddled, fear inducing few weeks with no gauge or date as to when this will end or even when or if the countless people like myself will be given the help that we have every right to. Destroying to say the least.

    • Avatar
      Tae Walsh 11 Jun 2020 at 11:48 am #

      I finished my previous job on March 22nd and was due to start new job on 23rd March but had a phone call to let me know they were shutting for at least 12 weeks and terminated my contract as they wouldn’t know when the company would be back up and running or even in a position to open again. I’m in limbo, I asked for my old job back and they said sorry we have someone that has filled your position

  24. Avatar
    S 21 Apr 2020 at 3:05 pm #

    Wow, this is disgraceful – thousands maybe tens of thousands will be left with nothing 😟 unfortunately, myself included

  25. Avatar
    Em 21 Apr 2020 at 4:59 pm #

    All the talk about the government helping us and really they are dishing out unfair systems which leave some of us with no income, when we are employed & cant work due to the government restrictions!!! It’s very upsetting. I really hope they take off the rti element and are fair!

  26. Avatar
    Tom Quinn 22 Apr 2020 at 1:49 pm #

    Quick question, if my first pay date was 20th march would I qualify for furlough ? My wage slip came on the 18th march, I cant reach my employer so I’m unsure if I would qualify.

    • Avatar
      William 12 May 2020 at 2:57 am #

      Yes, you should be qualified

  27. Avatar
    V Chauhan 22 Apr 2020 at 6:16 pm #

    It’s a complete joke, the date change with the furlough isn’t benefiting hardly anybody. I started a new job on the 2nd March, and was laid off on the 19th march…I was paid at the end of the month, but still don’t qualify for furlough as the RTI was not submitted till the end of the month.

    • Avatar
      Owen 23 Apr 2020 at 2:44 pm #

      My position exactly. Just wrong

    • Avatar
      Chris 23 Apr 2020 at 7:03 pm #

      Worse than everyone is saying. Clear guidance for employers was issued stating furlough would be paid to those who were EMPLOYED on the 29th Feb (amended to 19th March) and employers made decisions based on that clear statement.
      In a new start up company with year end at the end of Feb 20, I was under a requirement to pay myself a salary in Feb, having worked for nothing all year and the furlough confirmed that decision.

      Was working on accounts to make sure all correct and did RTI late March.

      Like others I was refused furlough due to HMRC retrospective and undeclared fiddling with their interpretation of furlough which, after 7 phone calls, I am still waiting for another person to deal with.

      Worse still, I had to loan my company 700 to pay the tax and NI due on the salary – which HMRC insisted was paid on 22nd April.

      Dishonest and stinks

  28. Avatar
    María Dolores Atienza 23 Apr 2020 at 3:57 pm #

    I was employed on the 10th of March and paid on the 31st. Last week my current company called me saying that they have to make my position redundant as they weren’t allow to furlough me, a day after they called me again saying I was back in the company as the government changed the furlough date. Well today I received another call saying I al unemployed again as I wasn’t in their payroll until the end of March… I have been left out put income, what now?

  29. Avatar
    Daniel Clarke 23 Apr 2020 at 8:32 pm #

    What a strange date the government have set knowing payroll is done end of the month. They really need to amend this to cater for new starters.

  30. Avatar
    Diane 24 Apr 2020 at 1:59 am #

    If you leave a job to go to a new job but end up stuck with no job and no work due to COVID – then surely it ought to be mandatory for the old employer to furlough you? Give back employment rights as if you had not left? A covenant letter to state you will leave if there is a worry about redundancy payouts when all this goes can be done? Isn’t it a scheme to keep people ’employed’ during COVID for income? A P45 should be enough evidence for Tax and NI. In this unprecedented situation, when people resigned unknowingly, the simplest way would be for individuals to apply with a P45? No furlough and no work to go to because of government imposed restrictions seems unfair and unreasonable. Discuss? Stay safe

    • Avatar
      Tae W 11 Jun 2020 at 11:59 am #

      I agree! I left my job 22nd March after a months notice and was due to start new job 23rd March. Phone call on 20th from new job to say they would have to delay my start date for 12 weeks due to lockdown, But two weeks later terminated my contract as they are not sure if their company will recover. No furlough from either company and was just told how unfortunate it was with the leave/start date. There should be something if the reason you are out of work due to covid lockdown

  31. Avatar
    eric coombes 24 Apr 2020 at 7:58 am #

    I am like many of the above, I started my new role as PAYE on the 1st of March but was not entered on to the TTI until the 25th March as that is when the payroll is run. Due to this I too do not qualify for Furlough – Part of the guide line was you had to be PAYE on the 19th, I and many others WHERE but then it contradicts itself with the RTI. One counts you in and one counts you out.
    Maybe if the Government did not offer MP,s up to £10,000 to help work from home, which lasted a couple of weeks, they could use this money to right this injustice.
    We were all PAYE on the 19th – stick to that part of your statement.

  32. Avatar
    Gill Young 24 Apr 2020 at 1:50 pm #

    My son is the same. Came off UC to start job on the 2 March but did not get entered on the company payroll until early April so not eligible to be furloughed despite having a contract of employment. its so unfair and potentially could be costing all these unfortunate people thousands of pounds. Government happy to be bailing out high profile employees staff … the rich get richer eh as per usual. makes you very bitter.

  33. Avatar
    Matthew Esswood 24 Apr 2020 at 6:51 pm #

    I started on 16th March….didn’t even know there was a cut off date. Been revised. Still bot getting anything. There are a lot of stories similar to mine…. I see no answers.

  34. Avatar
    Miah 25 Apr 2020 at 4:55 am #

    I am starting job 16 December 2019 My accountant submitted rti 8 april 2020 my accountant try to claim furlough for me is declined how to claim my furlough any option coming from government for coronavirus because business closed no money more lockdown extended please help me any option there.Thanks

  35. Avatar
    Li Bai 25 Apr 2020 at 1:55 pm #

    Same story to you all as a new starter in early March, have you signed the petition? https://www.change.org/p/rishi-sunak-review-the-government-furlough-scheme-to-include-workers-who-started-their-job-this-month

  36. Avatar
    Ang 27 Apr 2020 at 11:46 am #

    I started a new job March 17th and was paid March 20th, from then we were all in lockdown and unable to work. My company is saying we aren’t eligible for the furlough scheme because we weren’t on HMRC’s system on 19th as HMRC’s system was “down”. I don’t understand how this is possible as we were all paid on 20th March, as compensation we were given another weeks pay a week later on 27th, I had tax, national insurance and student loans taken out of both these pays. When I spoke to HMRC they told me that my company had told them that our first pay was given to us April 3rd… Which is absolutely wrong and I have payslips to prove it. Is the company I work for trying to get out of furloughing us?

  37. Avatar
    D 30 Apr 2020 at 12:26 am #

    Anyone worried about this should sign the official gov petition to hopefully get it sorted:


  38. Avatar
    Vitor Lourenco 2 May 2020 at 2:54 am #

    This does not help at all, I was not on the payroll till the end of March and still do not qualify for the furlough scheme. There must be something that can be done to help the thousands like myself who started a new job and now have nothing even if we paid taxes every single months to this government.

  39. Avatar
    Kathleen Cunningham 6 May 2020 at 8:08 pm #

    My daughter got her March salary on 27 April and as of today the 6 May is still awaiting her April salary. It’s just seems to take so long to pay staff through this system. She has no idea when she will get her April salary

  40. Avatar
    Ruth 7 May 2020 at 1:54 pm #

    I am the Director of my own new limited health company, and only employee, I paid myself end of March for January-March, as I can do this quarterly, however again cannot claim , as the RTI was after the 19th March . Surely if they take the PAYE for earningS in the theses months we should be eligible and this would weed out the fraudsters!!

  41. Avatar
    Adriano 12 May 2020 at 2:46 pm #

    I started a new position on the 2nd of March 2020, but apparently the company I worked for submitted the RTI to the HMRC only on the 20th of March. This made me not eligible for the furlough scheme, which I find extremely frustrating as just for 1 day (as the restriction applied is until the 19th March instead). I wanted to check if anyone is in the same situation and if there is a way to appeal or to escalate this unfortunate situation? Thank you.

    • Avatar
      Stuart 12 May 2020 at 5:21 pm #

      Same position here – hired two new employees in March. My RTI submission was sent on 20 March. I have the email confirmation from HMRC saying thay received my RTI at 07:51 on the 20 March.

      Rishi Sunak didn’t even announce the Furlough Scheme until after 17:00 on the 20 March, but for some reason I can’t access the scheme to keep my employees paid – even though my RTI was submitted and accepted by HMRC BEFORE he announced the scheme!!!

      Surely the cut off point should be the 17:00 on the 20 March, when he announced the scheme.

  42. Avatar
    L Delauve 13 May 2020 at 5:41 pm #

    Same here, I handed my notice by the 2nd of January, having found a better job, my old place made me work 3 months notice despite the fact that my new job was available straight away. So my starting date was 1st of April, new firm unable to furlough me. Old firm unsurprisingly are not interested to help to furlough me, so I am left with no income, new firm still want me but only when business picks up, probably not before July due to lack of customer! So no money for 3 months or longer if the situation does not improved, I am unable to claim unemployment as technically still employed. This can not be right, the government can not just abandoned people, the cut off date need to be reviewed!

  43. Avatar
    kim 15 May 2020 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi all
    My daughter has worked in a shop for 5 years. She was last paid on 31/3/20
    Her boss had told her she will be furloughed
    My daughter sat back and waited for her money. Her boss than told her that she had had confirmation that she
    Could not be furloughed because she was in the middle of swapping accountants and that everything had not been set up. How can she be paid on 31st March if she wasn’t on the payroll which she has been on for 5
    years. Checked out tax payments made online and everything is OK. Will ring HMRC

  44. Avatar
    R Winn 16 May 2020 at 8:38 am #

    I started work beginning of March. My boss forgot to pay me so I was not registered on HMRC by the 19th as required. They now say I do not qualify for furlough. How is this right?

  45. Avatar
    B Allen 18 May 2020 at 3:36 pm #

    We are a new business who enrolled (submitted) for PAYE on line in February 2020 and due to the HMRC failing to send out all the relevant documentation to activate the system until end of March have been informed we had no employees before 19th March (load of bunkum) We have however had a bill for NI and Tax payments back to February and my question is why if we are not eligible for the Job Retention Payment are we eligible for payment of the NI and Tax as according to HMRC we had no employees at the time of the cut off period? No one will answer the question nor indeed reply to my numerous complaints.

    • Avatar
      Phil Jarrett 23 May 2020 at 5:59 pm #

      Company Law requires all companies to have at least one Director so the RFI requirement is total beaurocratic nonsense!

    • Avatar
      Chris 11 Jun 2020 at 5:15 pm #

      I am an investor and have numerous operations. In February 2020, between 15 and 27, I set up 4 new operations, all employing at least 3 people. Engagement letters issued on the dates and under PAYE legislation all created a payroll that exceeded the minimum salary where tax needs deduction. All activation codes for RTI filing were received after 19 March and therefore through no fault of mine I could not meet the HMRC requirements for filing. Spoken to high up Inspector who agrees they have not done themselves any favours and informed to write a complaint on all four companies. As there are thousands of annual filing companies re RTI, then when added to the number that must be similar to my investments, there are plenty of people who through no fault of our own have been penalised.

  46. Avatar
    R Brown 18 May 2020 at 3:39 pm #

    The payments are going to the greedy and not the needy. Billionaires for example who can well afford to pay staff.

  47. Avatar
    Mr G 18 May 2020 at 5:10 pm #

    Is it normal I’m still waiting for furlough money from April ? Not sure if I can still trust my boss, saying every Monday to me that money will eventually shows on my account

  48. Avatar
    Michael Shaw 22 May 2020 at 5:11 am #

    I’m a single dad and I missed out by 1 day!! I can’t afford to pay my rent, bills or feed my son. I’ve been left with absolutely nothing, I’ve not eaten for over a week because I need to feed my son first. I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I have tried claiming benefits and have been told that I probably won’t get any money for a good few weeks, I will have starved to death by that point. So this scheme really hasn’t helped some of us that really need the help. I don’t have any family or friends that are in a position to help either.

  49. Avatar
    George Green 25 May 2020 at 2:57 am #

    Surely common sense will prevail
    And anybody who paid tax and national insurance
    In March up to the 31st should be included to be furloughed
    Without the RTI restriction

  50. Avatar
    wayne n 3 Jun 2020 at 1:53 pm #

    in reality as i have found to my cost if you live with a partner who is still working universal credit will pay you around £70 a month starting 5 weeks after your claim by which point i had been laid off for over 8 weeks with no income myself just my wifes £380 a week. UC does not take any expenditure into account what so ever, so if you have lost £600 a week in wages due to losing your income how does the equivalent of around £7 a week from the date i last worked help in any way? like many with 2 children this will not cover any bills mortgage utilities cars phones council tax water rates shopping etc etc

  51. Avatar
    Stew 5 Jun 2020 at 12:38 am #

    I started my new job on the 13th march, paid weekly and had my first pay on the 19th march, RTI shoulve been sent on the day or before payment, but lazy HR couldn’t be assed and didn’t submit until 28th march, got told I was on furlough for the past 3 weeks only to be told today I’m not eligible and won’t be getting anything, 3 weeks I could’ve been looking for a new job. What an absolute farce this is from the Tories, change the RTI date to 31st march and everyone’s happy

  52. Avatar
    Demsas Berhane Habtom 9 Jun 2020 at 7:55 am #

    I started work with my company on the 13th August 2020 and finish on the 15th March 2020,but my last payment was on the 20th March 2020that means I was in the payroll system until 20th March 2020,so accourding to the government announcement they says that those who were in payroll until 19th March can qualify for furlough schem,but my Employers not put me for furlough pay. This is disappointing me.

    • Avatar
      Kerry Doran 25 Jun 2020 at 1:02 am #

      I started a new part time position on 24th Feb 2020 but due to my late start date and company cut off date, i didnt get any wage in Feb, my first wage was last working day of March, then all this come about with covid-19, all schools closed, my boss told me i would recieve furlough and the company would apply for this, anyway, i got and waa being paid, my compsny informed me kast week they are ending my contract and i will be oaid any monies owed/due, email from my company today saying they have overpaid me and i wasnt entitled to the Furlough scheme do they requesting the money back, a whole £728.83 i am now in debt with

  53. Avatar
    Lara 9 Jul 2020 at 12:20 am #

    Hi everyone, I’m in the same position as many of you. I wanted to let you all know that there’s are two support/campaign groups for those affected – ExcludedUK and ForgottenLtd. Both groups can be found on Facebook or online – excludeduk.org and forgottenltd.com. Please do join – it’s a very upsetting and difficult time for us all without government support, but together we’re stronger.

Leave a Reply