13th January 2021

Apprentices on furlough

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We hear that there is some confusion amongst employers regarding apprenticeship training during furlough.

When an employee is on furlough they can take part in volunteer work or training, as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for or on behalf of the employer.

Training in this context includes apprenticeship off-the-job training. Where a training provider can continue to deliver training remotely, which is the case for MBKB Training, a furloughed apprentice can continue their apprenticeship whilst furloughed.

But, where training is undertaken by workers on furlough at the request of their employer, workers are entitled to be paid at least the appropriate minimum wage for this time. In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of a worker’s wage, up to the value of £2,500, will provide sufficient monies to cover these training hours.

However, where the apprentices on furlough payment does not meet the appropriate minimum wage for the time spent training, employers will need to pay the additional wages. Employers will have to top-up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the time they are furloughed.

For additional information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme please consult HMRC’s guidance


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