The apprenticeship levy

01 December 2016

The apprenticeship levy will be introduced on 6 April 2017. All employers with an annual pay bill of over £3 million will be required to pay the 0.5% levy via the PAYE process. Every employer will receive an annual allowance of £15,000 to offset the levy – this is how the £3 million benchmark has been derived (0.5% of £3 million is £15,000 so the levy liability is fully offset up to this value).

It is very important that schools are clear about whom HMRC considers an employer, and therefore who is responsible for calculating and paying the levy. This depends on the type of school:

  • Local authority (LA) maintained school – The LA is the employer and the school pay bill will form part of the LA levy calculation. If you haven’t already spoken to your LA about how this will work then we would recommend that you do so very soon.

  • Standalone academy – The trust is the employer and the academy will be individually responsible for calculating and paying the levy.

  • Multi-academy trust (MAT) – The trust is the employer and the pay bill of each of the schools within the trust will be included in the levy calculation.

  • Foundation school – The governing body is the employer and the school will be individually responsible for calculating and paying the levy.

Employers that pay the levy can access their funds to support approved apprenticeship training in schools. The government will add 10% to the levy funds that the employer has paid.

More information about the levy, how to calculate the amount you need to pay and how you will be able use the levy funds to purchase apprenticeship training programmes is available here.

See ASCL’s presentation on the apprenticeship levy and how it will work for schools.