The UK government has confirmed that apprentices can be ‘furloughed’—or put on temporary leave—and their employers claim up to 80% of their wages under the job retention scheme put in place to deal with the economic uncertainty arising from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Employers struggling to pay their employees during the pandemic can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month.
Under the job retention scheme, apprentices can be furloughed and, crucially, still train. Employers must continue to pay their apprentices at the appropriate minimum wage for all of the time they spend training.
This means that employers must cover any shortfall between the amount they claim through the job retention scheme and the apprentice’s appropriate minimum wage.
The Department for Education (DfE) has also released guidance for employers and training providers on delivering apprenticeship programmes and how they should support apprentices during the coronavirus pandemic.