If your business employs apprentices or is considering doing so, here is some very useful information that you need to know.
Most employers are aware of the funding benefits associated with the Apprenticeships (https://www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships) program in that the Apprenticeship Levy can be utilised to fund the formal training provided to apprentices working for an employer.
Note that the equivalent scheme is known as Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland (https://www.apprenticeships.scot/become-an-apprentice/modern-apprenticeships/); this article relates only to apprenticeships in England and Wales.
Often overlooked valuable incentive
There is however a further incentive available in the form of relief for Employer’s National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s) that can be claimed if the apprentice:
• Is under 25 years old
• Is on an approved UK government apprenticeship standard of framework
• Earns less than £967 a week (£50,270 a year)
Strict eligibility criteria
Any claims must be supported by evidence of the apprenticeship which can be either:
• A copy of the written agreement between the employer, the apprentice and the training provider, or
• Evidence that government funding is received for the apprenticeship, in England and Wales.
Once eligibility is confirmed, the payroll provider can be requested to make a change to the National Insurance coding for the apprentice(s) – subsequently, no Employers NIC’s will be paid for your apprentice(s), whilst employee NIC’s will remain unaffected. The Employer NIC’s rate will remain at 0% until each apprentice turns 25, or when the apprenticeship ends, whichever is the sooner.
If in any doubt please consult your payroll provider who should be able to advise.
Authored by: Nuria Ortega, London Team