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Employer Frequently Asked Questions

Employer Frequently Asked Questions

Read our Employer FAQ’s to find out more about how Apprenticeships are affected by the current situation.

Yes, the apprentice is an employee therefore the same rules apply.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme allows employers to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions, and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

Please click here for information on paying your apprentices and those on Apprenticeship Minimum Wage and National Minimum Wage.

Where training is undertaken by furloughed workers, at the request of their employer, workers are entitled to be paid at least the appropriate minimum wage for this time.

In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of a worker’s wage, up to the value of £2,500, will provide sufficient monies to cover these training hours.

However, where the furlough payment does not meet the appropriate minimum wage for the time spent training, employers will need to pay the additional wages.

EXAMPLE

  • Apprentice Employed for 35 hours per week x £5 per hour = £175 per week
  • 80% of this is paid to the apprentice whilst on furlough (from government) = £140 per week
  • Currently training 40% of their usual employed hours i.e. 14 hours per week. Would need to ensure they are paid at least the Apprentice National Minimum Wage (£4.15 per hour) x 14 hours = £58.10 per week
  • The furlough payment (£140 per week) is in excess of required payment (£58.10 per week), therefore, no top up required.

If an apprentice is training less than 80% of their usual working hours per week, then it is unlikely that a top up by the employer to the furlough payment will be required.

Yes, all apprentices have received contact by email and or phone to schedule and visits/training sessions. All teaching, 1-1 tutorials and progress reviews will be completed over the phone and or Skype.

A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work or training, as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of the employer. Training in this context includes apprenticeship off-the-job training.

Access to an internet connection and a laptop or desktop. A smartphone can be used but may be difficult to use for some applications i.e. creating documents, tables.

Given the circumstances where we are unable to predict how well and how much work the apprentice will be able to undertake, therefore we cannot provide a full response to this. If an apprentice is not able to engage in learning at all following a 4 week period, a break in learning can be offered. This means the planned end date will be extended by the length of the break period.

Off-the-job training is a statutory requirement for an English apprenticeship. It is training which is received by the apprentice during the apprentice’s normal working hours, for the purpose of achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the approved apprenticeship referenced in the apprenticeship agreement.

All off-the-job training must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship, but this can now be delivered more flexibly, including remote working.

Employers may set employees training tasks when they’re working from home, but where these are not directly linked to the apprenticeship, it cannot be classed as off-the-job training.

Yes. The normal off-the-job training rules will apply, so training can be done as a block where this is agreed between the provider and the employer. The 20% minimum off-the-job training over the length of the apprenticeship will still need to be satisfied.

All tutors are being requested to contact apprentices at least every 2 weeks. This can be by phone, email or Skype.

Our tutors will continue to request your input to planned progress reviews. We can arrange for you to join by Skype. Tutors will contact you to support apprentices with work related learning as required.

We can set up access to our e-portfolio – VQM, please speak to the tutor if you wish to have a log in.

We are receiving information from the government constantly, however no extension for frameworks ending on 31 July 2020 has been announced.

Given the circumstances where we are unable to predict how well and how much work the apprentice will be able to undertake, therefore we cannot provide a full response to this. If an apprentice is not able to engage in learning at all following a 4 week period, a break in learning can be offered. This means the planned end date will be extended by the length of the break period.

The apprenticeship levy is an important part of our aim to raise apprenticeship quality which supports employers to make a long-term, sustainable investment in training. Due to this HMT have no current plans to pause the collection of the apprenticeship levy because of the Covid-19 disruption.

The Chancellor has set out an unprecedented package of support for businesses and employers and stands ready to announce further action wherever necessary.

Employers already have 24 months in which to spend their levy funds before these expire. For now we do not intend to make any changes to current arrangements.