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Employees who are paid annually are eligible for a grant under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme provided they meet the conditions of the scheme. These conditions require that employee to have been notified to HMRC on a real time information (RTI) submission on or before 19 March 2020 which relates to a payment of earnings in the 2019/20 tax year.
The Government has prioritised helping the greatest number of people as quickly as possible, and the scheme has had to be set up to operate at significant scale and with limited manual intervention. Requiring eligible employees to be notified on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 allows as many people as possible to be included by going right up to the day before the scheme was announced, while mitigating the risk of fraud.