How much should you pay an apprentice?

If you’re looking to hire an apprentice, what do you have to pay them?

First published on Friday, Jun 19, 2020

Last updated on Friday, Jun 14, 2024

One of the benefits of using an apprenticeship programme is you can hire young, talented, and enthusiastic staff who are more cost effective.

And in this article, we’re taking a look at the pay rates and other little details you’ll need to know.

Apprentice pay rates

So, how much do you pay an apprentice? It’s usually around £257 a week. That’s the average pay.

The national minimum wage for apprentices is £3.70 an hour. This applies to employees aged between 16 and 18.

This also applies in other circumstances including to any 19 year olds who are in their first year with you.

Otherwise, every other apprentice should receive pay relevant to their age.

Just for reference, minimum apprentice pay rates in 2017 [and 2018] were £3.50. This changed in April of 2018 to the above amount of £3.70. *It’s worth noting that this amount rises to £3.90 in April 2019.

Apprentices who are 19+

For pay of an apprentice with you for over a year, they can claim national minimum wage. There was an increase to this amount in April 2018, too. These totals are:

  • £5.90 for 18-20 year olds.
  • £7.38 for those 21 and over.

For apprentices over the age of 25, there’s a national living wage. This pays £7.83. *It worth noting that this amount rises to £8.21 after April 2019.

Minimum earning amounts

So, to clarify on the above (as it can be a bit confusing), here are the current (April 2018) and future (April 2019) minimum earning amounts:

Apprentices may find these rates quite low, but you can pay them more than the UK national minimum wage if you want.

When you’re paying an apprentice, you can follow your standard payroll procedures.

Do apprentices pay tax?

One of the myths with an apprentice programme is they don’t have to pay any tax. This isn’t the case at all.

All apprentices must pay income tax—exactly the same as all other working professionals.

However, in the 2018/2019 tax year then an individual earning less than £11,850 shouldn’t face any tax. This process is called the personal allowance.

Anything over that total will, of course, be subject to the standard income tax.

Do apprentices pay National Insurance?

Yes, they do. For the 2018/2019 tax year, if they earn more than £162 per week then they have to make their contribution (NIC).

The type they’ll pay is a Class 1 NICs. They’re charged at 12% of their income between the totals of £162 and £892 each working week.

Are apprentices entitled to sick pay?

It’s a common question we receive from business owners. “Do apprentices get sick pay?”

It’s your responsibility to still offer the same working conditions as your other employees. So, you’ll have to cover the likes of:

  • Offering the apprentice sick pay.
  • Any of your supporting offers, such as mentoring and coaching.
  • Benefits like childcare or vouchers.

Only if they’ve been with you for fewer than three months would there be no statutory sick pay for the apprentices.

And you may also wonder, “Do apprentices get holiday pay?” As with statutory sick pay for apprentices, you will have to pay them—if your business policy is to offer sickness pay.

Do apprentices get redundancy pay

Finally, what happens if you have to make your young employee redundant?

Well, as it’s explained on Gov.UK’s employing an apprentice, it highlights that, again, they have exactly the same rights as your other staff members.

As such, you should follow your normal procedures for making an apprentice redundant.

Need more help with this?

We can help you understand what you need to pay your new starter. Get in touch today on 0800 783 2806.

Jenny Marsden

Associate Director of Service

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