17 April 2020

Training Whilst Furloughed

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme allows employers to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ usual monthly wages, up to £2,500 a month, plus their associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions.

Furloughed employees cannot undertake any work for the company; however, they are able to train whilst furloughed and entitled to appropriate levels of pay while doing so.

Training Furloughed Employees

Furloughed employees are able to engage in training, as long as doing so does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their company or a linked or associated company.

Where training is undertaken at the request of their employer, furloughed employees are entitled to be paid at least their appropriate national minimum wage. In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of an employee’s regular wage, up to the value of £2,500, will be sufficient to cover these training hours. However, if the time spent training exceeds the furlough payment, employers will need to pay the additional wages

Apprentices

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees, and are able to continue their training remotely or via e-learning as far as is practicable during this time. Employers should liaise with their apprentice’s training provider to establish whether e-learning is available.

Where training is undertaken by furloughed workers at the request of their employer, apprentices must be paid at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage (AMW). Employers may claim 80% of the cost of an apprentice’s wages through the Government furlough scheme, but will need to cover any shortfall between the amount claimed through the scheme and their minimum wage.

Accessing E-learning

CITB has confirmed that a number of courses on its Training Directory are eligible for grant when completed via e-learning. It has also opened its apprenticeship e-learning free of charge to all apprentices, regardless of who they are studying with.

Further information on training furloughed employees can be found in the FAQs of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Coronavirus Employment Schemes Guidance Note. Details of the changes made to apprenticeships is available on the Build UK website.