The government has confirmed that the Job Retention Scheme will apply to apprentices and that they can continue to train whilst they are furloughed. The rules which apply to apprentices are however, slightly different to those which apply to other employees and the government has produced a full guidance note for employers and other organisations who manage the development of apprentices.
The guidance can be found here:
We can confirm the headline points are as follows:
- Employers must pay at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage for all periods of training during furlough leave. This means that employers will be responsible for any shortfall in the amount claimed under the scheme and the appropriate minimum wage.
- Employers (and other organisations associated with apprentices) should encourage training and assessment to take place remotely where this is at all possible
- Apprentices should be afforded the benefit of appropriate extensions in their learning and to the timetable to their assessments
- Apprentice should be allowed breaks in learning where it is necessary and appropriate to do so
For those employers who access and contribute the apprenticeship levy scheme, the government has confirmed that there will not be any pause or break in apprenticeship levy payments so employers must ensure that the continue to fulfil their obligations in this regard.
The law surrounding the employment of apprentices can be complex at the best of times and we recommend that if you engage with apprentices, you review the Government guidance contained within the link above, and of course you get in touch with a member of the Employment Team on 01274 864999 to discuss any queries on furloughing apprentices.