Employer FAQs

Check out our frequently asked questions for employers. If you’re interested in hiring an apprentice or in training up one of your existing employees and you have a question, please take a moment to look through these FAQ’s.
We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions for you in detail, right here…
How much do I need to pay Educationwise Academy for an apprentice?

If your company has a payroll over £3m per annum, then you will pay for apprenticeship training from the apprenticeship Levy funds in your digital account. If the funds in your account run out, the government will cover 95% of the surplus cost, and you’ll need to contribute 5%. If your company has a payroll below £3m per annum, and you have reserved funding through your digital account, the government will cover 95% of the cost of training, and you will need to pay the remaining 5%. The 5% will be invoiced up front once the apprentice has been inducted onto the apprenticeship.

How do I know if I am a levy paying employer?

If your company has an annual payroll of over £3m per annum, then you will be a levy paying employer and you’ll need to register for a Digital Apprenticeship Service Account. If you are unsure, check with someone in your finance or payroll team.

What if I don't pay the apprenticeship levy?

If you do not pay the levy, you will be able to reserve funding on the Digital Apprenticeship Service to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment. Guidance on how to do this is detailed further down within this document. The government will make a contribution of 95% to the cost of this training.

How much time will my apprentice be required to spend in training?

Off-the-job (OTJ) training is a statutory requirement during for any apprentice. It is the training, they recvieve during their normal working hours, for the purpose of achieving the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the approved apprenticeship they are completing. It is a requirement that your apprentice must complete at least 20% OTJ during their qualification. For example: If they were on 30 hours a week, 6 hours of this would be assigned to their OTJ training. The other 24 hours would be where they will learn on-the-job. As part of this OTJ, Apprentices will attend weekly live sessions that are delivered via Microsoft Teams. Live sessions will always follow the same day/time .e.g.Tuesday’s 9:30am – 11:30am and this will be confirmed in both the onboarding email and cohort information sheet. Your apprentice may also be visited by their tutor when required and invited to face to face sessions delivered by industry experts. This varies by apprenticeship – please ask one of our programme coordinators for further information. A small number of apprentices also need to complete Functional Skills (maths and English) qualifications. These require at least a couple of online sessions per month for each qualification. The Functional Skills tutor will always book these in advance and at a time that is convenient for you. Your apprentice will also need time away from the role to complete their end point assess.

What kind of contract do I need to have with my apprentice?

We advise that you issue your apprentice a permanent contract but where you issue a fixed term contract and we recommend you allow the duration of the apprentices plus an additional 3 months to allow for end point assessment. For example, if your apprentice is undertaking a level 3 standard, we ask that you issue a 18-month fixed term contract. We will deliver the programme over 15 months and the additional 3 months is to get the end point assessment completed. We will deliver the programme over 15 months and the additional 3 months is to get the end point assessment completed – all while the apprentice continues to be employed. If your apprentice starts work before the induction date, you will need to increase the duration of contract accordingly.

What is the title of the apprenticeship my apprentice will be undertaking?

Educationwise Academy undertakes a range of different apprenticeship qualifications and levels. Please refer to our website or ask one of our programme coordinators for more information.

Do I need to pay my apprentice when they are completing both their 20% Off-the-Job training?

Yes. By law, apprentices must be paid for time spent working as well as time spent in training.

How do I set up my Digital Apprenticeship Service account?

Before you can set up your account, you’ll need to identify the person in your organisation who has access to your government gateway account. It’s usually someone in payroll. You’ll also need the details of all of your PAYE schemes. Once you have this information, visit: https://manageapprenticeships.service.gov.uk/. If you have a complex corporate structure, there is more detailed guidance which you should definitely read, here. Finally, our team is here to help so if you get stuck, give us a call on 01173 790450.

What are Educationwise Academy's Standard Payment Terms?

We collect payments from Employers by Direct Debit. During the enrolment process you will be sent a payment agreement form where you will decide if you would like to settle your 5% co-investment contribution (non-levy paying employers) in full or spread across 3 monthly direct debit payments.

What incentives am I entitled to as an employer taking on an apprentice?

All employers are exempt from paying national insurance contributions for apprentices who under 25 and are undertaking a statutory apprenticeship. Use the H category on your payroll return to HMRC. If you are a small employer and you employ an apprentice who is 16 to 18 years old, then you’ll be entitled to a grant of £1,000. We will pay this to you in two instalments – the first 3 months after your apprentice starts and the second after 12 months.

Do I need to give my apprentice pay increases during their apprenticeship?

No. Many apprentices only receive and increase once they’ve completed first year of apprenticeship and go on to a second year of study, or into a full-time job. But you are very welcome and encourage to reward your apprentice for good performance – if that reward comes in the form of a salary increase, that’s great!

What happens if my apprentice is underperforming?

Of course, we hope this never happens, but if it does, your apprentice is subject to your disciplinary policies and procedures. You are able to dismiss an apprentice for all of the same reasons you would dismiss any other employee. HOWEVER, we do ask our Employers to consult with us and seek our support at the earliest possible opportunity when there is a performance or other issue. In many cases, our highly experienced team is able to get to the bottom of the issue and solve the problem.

What if my apprentice leaves early?
  • Non-levy employers that have paid upfront – You will receive a pro-rated refund depending on how many completed months remain e.g. if your apprentice leaves halfway through month 6, you will receive a refund for months 7-12 (50%).
  • Non-levy employers that pay monthly – Educationwise Academy will stop any future invoices and issue a credit note from the apprentices last day of learning.
  • Levy employers – Future levy payments will stop, but you may receive a refund to your levy pot depending on the actual end date of the apprentice. Educationwise Academy uses evidence of learning (signed tutor session or learner journal) for the actual end date. Educationwise will confirm this date with you for you to add a stopped date for the apprentice on the DAS.

Are you a Levy Paying Employer?

Specific Levy Paying Employer FAQ’s
How does the apprenticeship levy work?

While the levy is set at 0.5% of an employer’s gross annual pay bill, employers have an allowance of £15,000. So if an employer has a pay bill of £10 million, they will end up paying an annual fee of:

  • £10million x 0.5% – £15,000 = £35,000

The levy allowance operates on a monthly basis and accumulates throughout the year. This means you have an allowance of £1,250 a month. Any unused allowance is carried from one month to the next.

The total levy amount is collected monthly by HMRC, and the funding is then made available to employers via a digital account, through which they can pay for training for apprentices. If an employer does not spend their entire levy amount on apprenticeships, then the unspent portion will be made available to other employers to spend on apprenticeships.

If you are part of a group of employers, you must decide what proportion of the levy allowance each employer in the group will be entitled to. This decision must be taken at the beginning of the tax year and will be fixed for that tax year. Each employer will then calculate what they have to pay through the same processes set out above, but using their portion of the £15,000 allowance.

Any apprenticeship levy payment to HMRC is an allowable deduction for Corporation Tax purposes.

Your pay bill will be based on the total amount of earnings subject to National Insurance Contributions. Essentially, any person who is on your payroll and paid through PAYE is included in your pay bill. Earnings include any remuneration or profit coming from employment, such as pay, bonuses, commissions and pension contributions that you pay National Insurance on.

Does the government provide any additional funding to those paying the levy?

The government will apply a 10% top-up to your levy account for spending on apprenticeship training in England. They apply the top-up monthly, at the same time the funds enter your digital account. So for every £1 that enters your digital account to spend on apprenticeship training, you will get £1.10. Funds (including top-ups) expire 24 months after they enter your digital account unless you spend them on apprenticeship training.

What can I actually spend the levy on?

Funds in your digital account can only be used towards the costs of apprenticeship training and spent with an approved training provider.

They cannot be used to pay for other costs associated with your apprentices or wider training effort e.g. pay, statutory licences to practise, travel and subsidiary costs, managerial costs, or the costs of establishing an apprenticeship programme.

Employers are able to transfer 25% of the funds in their digital account to other employers in their supply chains or sector to be used on their own apprenticeship training.

What if I don't have enough in my levy account to pay for all of the training I want?

Some employers paying the levy may find that the funds in their digital account aren’t enough to cover the full cost of training all the apprentices they want to employ.

In order to support further apprenticeship delivery, the government will contribute 95% of the total costs of the additional delivery.

We hope we have answered your questions but remember, our team is here to help, so if you get stuck give us a call on 01173 790450 or info@education-wise.org