Pooled PAYE

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An apprenticeship service account is set up using a PAYE number. This PAYE number can only be linked to one apprenticeship service account.  

Pooled PAYE scheme is where multiple employers use a single PAYE scheme to report PAYE information to HMRC.  Pooled PAYE schemes are a historic practice and HMRC is not currently accepting any new requests from employers to pool PAYE schemes. 

This means employers who are part of a Pooled PAYE scheme are not able to set up individual accounts on the apprenticeship service to access the range of benefits this allows 

For this group of employers, separating from the Pooled PAYE scheme and creating their own PAYE scheme is the best way to enable access to the apprenticeship service and the full functionality it offers.  This includes accessing funding for the training and assessment of their apprentice and being able to claim the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice 

HMRC guidance on how to set up a PAYE scheme can be found here 

If an employer wishes to remain part of the Pooled PAYE scheme, there are 3 options that they can choose to enable them to access apprenticeship funding: 

  1. Working with the local authority who can employ the apprentice directly and second them to your organisation. With this option, because the local authority is the employer of the apprentice, they will be able to use their levy funds to fund the apprentice’s training and assessment and manage the apprenticeship through their apprenticeship service account. This will also allow them to claim the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice, if they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Funding Rules. 
  2. Working with an Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA); an organisation that can recruit, employ, and arrange training for apprentices on behalf of employers. The ATA would be able to claim the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice under this option.
  3. Working directly with a training provider to access apprenticeship funding through the providers’ procured non-levy contract. This option is available for new apprentice starts up to and including 31 March 2021. This option should only be considered for apprentices who are not eligible for the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice. 

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