Apprentices’ Payroll

With A-Level and GCSE results days over with for another year, there’ll be a whole new army of young apprentices ready to start working and hopefully forge a career in their chosen industry. Both an apprentice and the company they work for can get a lot of benefits out of this relationship, but of course, it’s integral that a company knows how to ensure that they’re getting apprentices’ pay right. Especially considering that apprentices might not have the experience or confidence to voice when they are being paid incorrectly.

Due to a series of common mistakes being made, HMRC has recently launched a campaign to educate businesses about how they can pay apprentices more easily and correctly.  

Paying an Apprentice

For all apprentices that join your company that are under the age of 19, they should be paid National Minimum Wage (ANMW) and for apprentices that are 19-year-old and in the first year of their apprenticeship. This comes to £4.30 for the 2021/22 tax year. Your business has a legal responsibility to ensure that you’re paying them at least the National Minimum Wage.

3 Common Mistakes

HMRC are seeing the same mistakes from employers again and again when it comes to paying apprentices – some of the most common are:

  • Paying at Incorrect Times – The ANMW needs to start being paid to an apprentice once their apprenticeship has officially begun, it does not need to be paid before this date i.e once an apprenticeship has been agreed on between employer and apprentice.
  • Paying for Training Time – HMRC are keen to emphasis that apprentices must be paid for all of the training time that they undertake. It doesn’t matter where or when the training takes place, such as training at college, work or elsewhere that goes on outside of work hours, employers must count this as training time and pay their employees accordingly.
  • Paying Inaccurate Amounts – It is common for employers to pay 19-year-olds in the second year of their apprenticeship and beyond, the incorrect amount and not what they’re legally entitled to. This is because, as mentioned, 19-year-olds that are in the 1st year of their apprenticeship should be paid National Minimum Wage, but 2nd year and above should get paid a higher National Minimum Wage appropriate to their age. A change in pay because an apprentice has turned 19 can come into action on the 1st of the month following their birthday.

With an influx of apprentices that’ll be starting out in their new roles soon, there’s never been a better time to ensure that you have all the correct procedures, payroll and info to hand, so that they are paid on time and correctly. For more simple guidance or if you’re still unsure about how to do this, you can use HMRC’s Check your Pay service and there is also an apprenticeships helpline called ACAS.

For any additional information about payroll or outsourcing your payroll, you can get in touch with our professional and experienced team to help your business with any questions and info to do with pay.

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