Furloughed apprentices

CoronavirusThis article sits within the Coronavirus section

Employers can keep their apprentices on the organisation’s payroll even if they’re unable to operate or have no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as putting them ‘on furlough’.

How the government is supporting you

The government set up the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) that lets employers claim up to 80% of their employee’s usual monthly wages if they’re on furlough.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the CJRS grant for the hours not worked.

From 1 August 2020, the level of support provided by the CJRS will change.  In August, employers will be required to pay National Insurance and pension contributions.  From September the government contribution toward furloughed employees’ wages will reduce and employers will be required to top these up.  For full details see Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

From 31 October 2020, the CJRS will be replaced with the Job Retention Bonus scheme (JRBS). The JRBS will provide employers with a £1000 payment for every furloughed employee that returns to work and remains employed until the end of January 2021. To qualify, employees must earn over £520 per month (the lower earnings limit) on average between 31 October 2020 and January 2021.  Payments will be made from February 2021.

Further details will be announced by the end of July 2020.

What your apprentices can do during furlough

We’ve introduced flexibilities to help furloughed apprentices to continue their apprenticeship training, as long as they do not provide services or generate revenue for their employers.

Furloughed apprentices can:

  • continue with their off-the-job training and end-point assessments remotely
  • use digital and distance learning
  • take part in volunteer work

You may agree with your apprentice and training provider to increase the amount of time they spend on off-the-job training. This is to make sure employers have the skills they need for the future and means they can make changes to continue supporting apprenticeships.

When apprentices can train

When apprentices are on furlough (granted a leave of absence), they can agree with their training provider to continue with their apprenticeship training.  If the apprentice cannot continue with their apprenticeship training remotely, they must take a break in learning.


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