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If I need to self-isolate, what will happen to my apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships have been designed to be responsive to changes in apprentices’ circumstances, for example during a period of illness. If you need to self-isolate, please talk to your employer and the college about the best way to continue with your apprenticeship.

Options might include:

  • an increase in e-learning
  • a short pause of fewer than 4 weeks in your apprenticeship while you are in self-isolation, which will not affect the planned end-date of your apprenticeship
  • a formal break in learning of 4 weeks or more which would result in your planned end-date for your apprenticeship being re-planned, to take into consideration the duration in line with the length of your break
  • re-scheduling planned assessment activity for a later date

Whatever is most appropriate will be agreed based on you and your employer's situation.

2. I need to take care of myself/a family member. Can I continue my apprenticeship learning at home?

Yes, this may be possible, depending on your apprenticeship and whether e-learning is appropriate. Please contact your assessor to discuss your options.

3. My employer is enforcing a work from home policy. What are my options?

There are several options available to you, so please talk to your employer and assessor to agree on the appropriate steps for your circumstances.

4. My employer is asking me to take a period of unpaid leave, what happens to my apprenticeship during that time?

Where you are no longer able to work, but have not been made redundant, you can take a break from your apprenticeship and resume when you return to work. Please get in touch with the college so that we can initiate a break in your learning.

Once you are back at work, you can resume your apprenticeship, which the college can help you with too. You should refer any queries around terms and conditions, including wages, to your employer in the first instance.

The ACAS website may also be a good source of information.

5. What happens during a period of unpaid leave in terms of monies. Do I have access to Universal Credit?

Apprentices may be entitled to access Universal Credit during a period of unpaid leave. They may also have access to Universal Credit even if they were working and being paid. Being laid off or on a lesser number of hours could increase the rate of Universal Credit entitlement.

Apprentices on unpaid leave may also be eligible for other benefits.

Through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed* workers wage costs.

*Furloughs are temporary absences of work when employees retain their jobs but do not get paid. During furloughs, employees keep their benefits and anticipate that they will return to work within a certain period of time.

6. How do I record progress towards my apprenticeship while I am subject to different working conditions like working from home?

You will already be recording your off-the-job training activity. Please continue to use this in the coming weeks. If your work circumstances change because of COVID-19, so that the minimum 20% off the job cannot be met, you will need to liaise with your employer and your assessor to agree on a break in learning.

7. My employer is laying me off/making me redundant. What happens to my apprenticeship?

Please speak to us if you are made redundant as your apprenticeship training may be able to continue. We may still be able to offer training, based on your circumstances in the short term. We may even be able to support you in finding a new employer.

8. If I can’t work/attend training, will I still be paid?

An apprenticeship is a job with training, so even when you are not able to do your training, you are still employed. You will be paid in line with the details in your employment contract.

Where you are unable to work, we suggest speaking to your employer about their policies on pay. The government is providing a range of support to employers to help them retain and pay the wages of employees (including apprentices) during the coming months.

If you are unsure about any aspect of your apprenticeship, then call your assessor or the Apprenticeship team on 07792 039731 – we’re here to help.