Apprentices on Furlough
As the pandemic rolls into 2021, the government has extended its furlough scheme until the end of April 2021. This means that furloughed apprentices can still carry out their apprenticeship training, so they can make good use of the time to gain new knowledge whilst the Government covers 80% of their wages.
Recent guidance from HMRC confirms that apprentices can continue to train during a period of furlough. According to HMRC, ‘Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst furloughed.’ This means furloughed apprentices can’t perform work duties, but they can continue with their training. They can access eLearning content, test their knowledge and complete remote reviews to maintain momentum in their learning even while they’re off work.
Furloughed apprentices can also agree with their employer and training provider, to complete more off the job training than they normally would. It means that when apprentices get back to work, they’ll be ahead of their off-the-job target and can spend more time working.
For any training carried out during furlough, the apprentice must receive at least the national minimum wage appropriate to them. Whether it’s apprenticeship minimum wage, national living wage or national minimum wage.
If there is a shortfall between the amount claimed for as wages under furlough and the appropriate minimum wage, the employer must cover this extra payment.
Whilst being on furlough is far from ideal, it creates a great opportunity for apprentices to focus on personal learning, development and gain new knowledge and skills for the future. For more information about furloughing apprentices, please contact us on: [email protected]