Government provides more detail about the apprenticeship levy
24 March 2016
The government has published more information about the apprenticeship levy and how it will work.
The levy will apply to all UK employers in both the private and public sectors.
It is payable on annual pay bills of more than £3 million. Employers with an annual pay bill of less than £3 million will not pay the levy. These employers will continue to have access to government funding to support apprenticeships.
The levy will be charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill. Levy payments will be collected monthly by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) through Pay as You Earn (PAYE), payable alongside tax and National Insurance. Pay bill will be based on total employee earnings subject to Class 1 secondary National Insurance contributions (NICs).
There will be a £15,000 fixed annual allowance for employers to offset against their levy payment. A connected person rule, similar to the one used for the Employment Allowance, will mean that employers who operated multiple payrolls will only be able to claim one allowance for the levy.
Individual employers’ funding for apprenticeship training in England will then be made available to them via a new Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account. Employers will be able to use this to pay for training for apprentices. The service will also support employers to identify a training provider, choose an apprenticeship training course and find a candidate.
Employers will be able to use their funding (up to a cap which will depend upon the standard or framework that is being trained against) to cover the costs of an apprentice’s training, assessment and certification.
The levy will put apprenticeship funding in the hands of employers and will encourage employers to invest in their apprentices and take on more. Employers in England who pay the levy and are committed to apprenticeship training will be able to get out more than they pay in to the levy through a top up to their digital accounts.
The government will apply a 10% top-up to monthly funds entering levy paying employers digital accounts, for apprenticeship training in England, from April 2017. All funds entering a levy payer’s account will be increased, so every £1 will be increased to £1.10 in value.
Further information is available here.