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Paying your apprentices that are furloughed

You can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to claim a percentage of your apprentice’s usual wages for each apprentice you’ve put on furlough.

  • In July and August you can claim 80% of your apprentice’s usual wages up to a cap of £2,500.
  • In September you can claim 70% of your apprentice’s usual wages up to a cap of £2,190.
  • In October you can claim 60% of your apprentice’s usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.

In July, you can also claim for any employer National Insurance and minimum workplace pension scheme contributions paid on that wage.  From August you must pay this.

You must pay apprentices that you’ve put on furlough at least the National Minimum Wage for any time they spend on off-the-job training. If your furlough payment is less than this amount, you must pay the additional wages up to this amount.

Contact Acas if you need more information about paying apprentices on furlough.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020. The government will continue to support you with the Job Retention Bonus Scheme.

How to work out your apprentice’s wages

  1. Calculate your apprentice’s furlough payment using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme calculator.
  2. Work out the amount your apprentice should receive for the off-the-job training they do. You must multiply the appropriate National Minimum Wage for your apprentice by the number of off-the-job training hours they will do over the furlough period.
  3. If your apprentice’s furlough payment is more than the amount they should receive for their off-the-job training, you do not need to top up their pay.

If the furlough payment is less than the amount they should receive for their off-the-job training, you will need to pay the apprentice the difference.

Example without employer top-up

You’ve put an 18 year old apprentice who is contracted to work 37 hours per week on furlough. They continue to train one day (7.5 hours) per week.

The National Minimum Wage for this apprentice is £4.15 per hour, which they must get for every hour they spend doing off-the-job training. You do not have to pay your apprentice the National Minimum Wage for the hours they are not working or training.

Working out

£4.15 (hourly pay) x 7.5 (hours) = £31.13

£31.13 x 3 (weeks) = £93.38

Over 3 weeks, the apprentice must get at least £93.38.

You receive £368 from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (for the  3-week furlough period). This is above the National Minimum Wage for the hours they spent doing off-the-job training, so the employer does not need to pay any extra.

Example with employer top-up

You’ve furloughed a 22-year-old who is in the second year of their apprenticeship. They’re contracted to work 37 hours per week, but you’ve agreed with the apprentice and their training provider that they’ll train for 4 days per week (7.5 hours per day). This is to cover as much off-the-job training as possible whilst the apprentice is on furlough.

The National Minimum Wage for this apprentice is £8.20, which they must get for every hour they spend on off-the-job training. You do not have to pay your apprentice the National Minimum Wage for the hours they are not working or training.

Working out

£8.20 (hourly pay) x 7.5 (hours) = £61.50

£61.50 x 4 (days) x 3 (weeks) = £738

Over 3 weeks, this means the apprentice must get at least £738.

You receive £728.16 from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (for the 3 week furlough period) This is less than the National Minimum Wage for the time the apprentice spent on off-the-job training, so the employer must pay the remaining £9.84.

 

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