Janet Paterson

Employer going from Levy paying to non-Levy paying


I have been dealing with Apprenticeship Levy since 2017 and have often had employers who have moved from being Non-Levy paying employers to paying the Levy. To confirm that they are now Levy paying employers we check if we can Reserve Funding for them on The Apprenticeship Service or not.

In the last few months we have had several Levy paying employers apparently now becoming Non-Levy paying and we are able to Reserve Funding for them. Has anyone else seen this happening?

I thought that the rule was "once a Levy paying employer always a Levy paying employer" and we get notified from ESFA if they have insufficient funds in their Levy POT.

Is there anyone that can shed some light on this?



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Ruth Canham-James

That's a new one on me! We've had several employers who used to pay the levy, but haven't paid for years. They're not really levy payers any more, but they still have a levy account. I had it confirmed by the Apprenticeship Service a number of times that it's impossible for an employer to move back to a non-levy account, as you've understood. That was never an issue until recently, as it just meant they didn't have to do reservations. The issue now is the new rule where non-levy account holder employers don't have to pay the 5% for 16-21 year olds. That hasn't been applied to the levy account holders who haven't paid levy for years, who would still have to pay the 5%. I asked the Apprenticeship Service about this and they keep telling me they're still deciding what to do. 

Maybe this is their solution? They've decided to make it possible to change from a levy to a non-levy account? You'd think they might have announced that if that's the case. How long would an employer have to have not paid levy to be allowed to switch?

I suggest asking the Apprenticeship Service. Have you checked yet how they appear in your Apps Monthly Payment Reports?