In April 2017 the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers.
The apprenticeship levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to make an investment in apprenticeships. You can benefit from this investment by training apprentices.
You will need to pay the apprenticeship levy if you are an employer, in any sector, with a pay bill of more than £3 million each year. For the purposes of the levy, an ‘employer’ is someone who is a secondary contributor, with liability to pay Class 1 secondary National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for their employees.
The levy will be charged at a rate of 0.5% of your annual pay bill. You will have a levy allowance of £15,000 per year to offset against the levy you must pay. This means you will only pay the levy if your pay bill exceeds £3 million in a given year.
You will pay the levy to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) through the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) process.
You will pay the levy on your entire pay bill at a rate of 0.5%. However, you will have a levy allowance to offset against this. The levy allowance is worth £15,000 for each tax year. This means the levy is only payable on pay bills over £3 million (because 0.5% x £3 million = £15,000).
The levy allowance will operate on a monthly basis and will accumulate throughout the year. This means you will have an allowance of £1,250 a month. Any unused allowance will be carried from one month to the next. For example, if your levy liability in month 1 is £1,000 you will not pay the levy and your allowance in month 2 will be £1,500.
If you have some unused allowance in a month, but paid the levy previously in the tax year, you can receive a credit which you can use to offset against your other Pay as You Earn (PAYE) liabilities. The credit will also reduce the amount of levy paid.
If you have multiple PAYE schemes and do not use the full £15,000 allowance, you will be able to offset the unused amount against another one of your schemes once the tax year has ended.
Once you have paid the levy to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) you will be able to access funding for apprenticeships through a new digital apprenticeship service account.
You will be able to use this to pay for training and assessment for apprentices in England. The service will also help you find training providers to help you develop and deliver your apprenticeship programme.
If you’d like to know more about the Apprenticeship Levy or would like to chat to one of our experienced consultants please call us on 01709 468011 or alternatively send us a message.