ICAS CA training and the Furlough Scheme
Here we consider which aspects of our CA training might be affected by the government’s coronavirus-emergency Furlough Scheme.
Training and furloughing
A Training scheme can continue during a period that a student is put on the UK government Furlough scheme. ICAS supports firms that take this action. HMRC advice is set out here.
If your employee does volunteer work or training
A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work or training, as long as this does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of, your organisation.
However, if workers are required to, for example, complete online training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the NLW/NMW for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.
CA training contract length
A student in an existing training contract is able to have a gap/absence of one month without affecting the training contract length of typically three years. In normal circumstances, periods greater than one month lead to the training contract being extended.
ICAS is extending this gap/absence period to three months without the training contract length requiring to be extended for students who are put onto a Furlough scheme. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide details of any students in this situation so that ICAS records can be amended.
Although the Chancellor extended the Furlough scheme on 12 May 2020 ICAS will not be increasing the permitted leave of absence from a training contract beyond the three months. Consequently any student who continues to be furloughed beyond three months will have their Training Contract extended.
The achievement log and Relevant Practical Experience
Students on a three-year training contract require to log a minimum of 450 days of Relevant Practical Experience during the training contract period, whilst students on a five-year training contract require a minimum of 750 days of Relevant Practical Experience. At this time, ICAS does not think that this minimum will need to change. This will be kept under review.
ICAS is continuing all Education programmes and moving these online until further notice. Any student furloughed can continue on this Learning programme, per the HMRC guidance.
ICAS is continuing all exams, although in different forms. Any student furloughed will, as part of their training, be able to continue to sit examinations online.