The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live on Monday morning here.
The scheme website contains full details of who can claim and a calculator for contractors to work out how much they are owed.
The online application service can handle up to 450,000 applications an hour.
Under the scheme the government will cover 80% of workers’ wages, up to £2,500 a month, if they are put on leave.
Employers simply need to claim the cash grant from HMRC and should then receive the money to pay their employees within six days, enabling them to meet the April payroll.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also extended the furlough scheme for another month until the end of June.