The ALMR has called on the Government to delay the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, warning that it will place severe burdens on employers in the licensed hospitality sector at a time of economic uncertainty post-Brexit and may harm investment as a result.
The Chancellor first announced the levy last year but the Government has only now published details of how it will work. The Apprenticeship Levy which will see all UK employers with a wage bill in excess of £3million – which includes many small and medium sized businesses liable to pay an additional payroll tax to fund apprenticeships from April 2017.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Introducing additional regulatory costs for businesses is going to put them under additional strain, particularly in a labour-intensive sector such as ours. Licensed hospitality has already doubled the number of apprenticeship starts and is investing on average over £1,000 per employee per year in in-work training – this could well be jeopardised by a blunt additional tax on employment. The timing of the levy, coming shortly after the EU referendum and while business and consumer confidence still needs a boost, could scarcely be worse. This is a time of economic uncertainty for UK businesses, not a time to be introducing significant additional costs at such short notice.
“The ALMR has liaised with the Government to voice its concerns and business leaders in hospitality and retail have been united in telling Ministers as part of the Brexit dialogue to delay the levy. We urge them to rethink the introduction of a measure that will place added strain on employers at such an uncertain time.”