Has anyone had access to their BI tools funding monitoring reports for period 3 yet?
KateNovember 17, 2017 at 10:34 am #214928
Bump – please help!November 24, 2017 at 2:53 pm #217020
My access is completely gone for this tab too – still waiting for you know who to resolve as clearly BI tools is in my permissions when I check with my superuser :(.
My superuser checked the BI tab and we couldn’t see any 17/18 reports when we looked on Wednesday………………..November 24, 2017 at 2:59 pm #217024
I don’t think there are any yet, I checked this morning.
October’s Inform and Update newsletters said;
Financial assurance: monitoring the funding rules 2017 to 2018
We have published the funding rules monitoring plan for the funding year 2017 to 2018. This covers adult education budget (AEB) delivery, Advanced learner loans, and all apprenticeships (frameworks and standards).
The plan includes the funding rules we will monitor for each area and the new monitoring reports we will publish on the Hub following the R03 ILR submission in 2017 to 2018.
They didn’t say when following the R03 ILR submission. We only got them in February last year, so I’m not going to complain yet.November 24, 2017 at 4:20 pm #217067
These appeared last week. Not much in there since our return was only 16-18 Apprentices. Nice to see them so early though!
An interesting report is 14 – Small Employer Waiver. It’s reporting a few employers for us, that we have coded as small, but the ESFA seem to think might not be. It’s not clear where they got that information from. All it says is;
We compare ILR data with other sources such as Companies House. We will ask you for evidence of eligibility where we believe that the employer is ineligible, and will recover funding from errors.
If we are very sure that an employer only has 4 employees for example, I’d rather that row didn’t come up on that report every month. I’d like to fix whatever erroneous data source the ESFA are using. I’m asking them directly, but does anyone know anything more?
Assuming we can’t fix whatever source data they’re using, what sort of “evidence” can we collect to show fewer than 50 employees on average in the last 365 days before start date? It seems like any evidence that might be useful would be highly confidential, and unlikely to be shared with us. We’re currently using a self-declaration, but for these few, I suspect that won’t cut it if we’re challenged. I don’t know what other providers are doing, or what the ESFA had in mind for evidence.December 5, 2017 at 1:39 pm #219946
Also, 16 – Recording co-investment payments is a slightly easier to use version of the monthly app Co-Funding Contribution Report, and it doesn’t include those who’ve paid. Weirdly, three of our apprentices are showing up with two rows on this report, and I cannot work out why.December 5, 2017 at 2:03 pm #219950
With regards to FRM14 I have contacted EDRS and have had the following response:
Good Morning Jake,
Employee figures can be amended but an electronic record has to be submitted for them first. It may be that you have picked up an old ERN starting with a number 1 or 2 and mopre often than not these records have been linked to other companies.
I assume that if we can correct the EDRS data the employer should no longer show up on this report?December 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm #219955
Glad they are useful…we have tried to push development and delivery earlier this year. We should have published the full suite before the end of December to include your R04 data submission.
Hopefully the summary page also works a lot faster now compared to last year? I know that was a common bugbear for users.
For report 14 – we are using the employer ID submitted in the ILR as a starting point. From the guidance doc:
All programme aims where: the ‘Employer identifier’ reported in the ILR indicates
that the employer (or their employer group) employs more than 49 staff
EDRS contains records of the number of employees on site and, sometimes indicates whether that employer is part of a group (it also supplies the group number of employees). We can confirm that data by looking at resources such a Companies House and FAME. For companies without a total exemption etc, the Companies House accounts usually specify the total number of employees. We expect to contact providers during the year when we identify through company accounts that the employer or it’s group has more than 49 employees. If we have identified levy funding has been used to pay for apprenticeships, it’s probably unlikely they are eligible for the waiver.
I would be interested to know how providers are evidencing eligibility for the waiver if not by using the companies house accounts.
We have identified through other work that this data might not always reflecting the contractual relationship between employer and provider (for example, some levy-paying employers with commitments reported that the employer ID that had been reported int he ILR had no relationship to either them or the provider). Our aim is to try and increase the quality of employer IDs reported in the ILR and also work to improve the overall quality of data within EDRS itself, given how critical this kind of information is becoming in the new apprenticeship system.
For report 16 – multiple rows in my experience usually means that, for whatever reason, the apprentice has 2 funding line types recorded. this may mean that they were reported as levy one month and then non-levy the next (or vice versa) and the payments calculation will continue to reflect that currently.December 5, 2017 at 2:55 pm #219974
As long as the employer ID (whether that is the correct ID or the ID amended to reflect correct staffing numbers) and the group it is part of has 49 employees or less, it would not appear in future reports. Note that we check both figures, so we would expect that the employer is giving you evidence to show their whole group employees is 49 or less when they declare eligibility for the waiver. This is similar to the way levy is calculated i.e. group and connected companies must also be included.
December 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm #219980
- This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by AlexSFA.
Thanks Alex, I was hoping you’d reply 🙂 The summary screen is much better, thank you.
I’ve looked up one of the employers appearing on the Employer Data Service, and can see the site itself has 6 employees, but the “aggregated Workplace Employees” is 55 (obviously the problem in this case). When I look at the “Company Tree”, there are clearly lots of branches.
The question is, what counts as one employer for the purposes of determining a small employer? I’m not clear on how we determine what counts as the employer when it comes to small employer waiver. I found these bits;
We use the term ‘employer’ to mean an organisation that has a contract of employment with an apprentice, including apprenticeship training agencies. This may also include a company or charity whose PAYE scheme the employer has connected to their digital account in accordance with HMRC’s definition of connected companies and charities. All references to an ‘employer’ are in relation to the whole organisation and not individual sites or locations.
Franchises with an annual pay bill of over £3 million (including any connected companies or charities) will have to pay the levy. You’ll have an annual allowance of £15,000 for all of the franchises under your control. You can choose to share the allowance across the franchises you control or across your PAYE schemes.
In that second bit, I don’t understand what “under your control” means. Is it that all franchised branches count as connected to the main company? So a franchised McDonalds always counts as part of McDonalds, and could therefore never be small? (We don’t work with McDonalds just an example).
I also can’t find the HMRC definition of a connected employer.December 6, 2017 at 1:10 pm #220215
Generally we mean the whole company, so if you are delivering to one branch of a multi-site organisation, then the whole organisation total is what must be used, all the way up to the organisation that owns that company (what is usually termed as the global owner). This is trickier with organisations that may operate under franchising arrangements. You would need to be clear about who was actually employing the learners. I am not an expert on how these arrangements all work, but I have always been led to believe that this may include employees employed by that branch, but not by the main company directly. Alternatively, a real world example might be a GP practice that is actually be part of the NHS trust, so the staff are employees of the NHS.
Control usually refers to directors and their relationships, so 2 companies can be determined to be connected by means of control even if they aren’t part of the same group of companies, because they share directors.December 6, 2017 at 1:58 pm #220235
Who can I speak to who can explain this? It has huge implications, but I don’t think has been made at all clear in the ESFA guidance.
I may have to end up referring specific examples to the help desk, but I very much doubt they’ll be able to help. We really want to follow the rules, but I can’t work out what the rules are, or find anyone who can tell me!December 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm #220246
if you have specific examples I would send it across to the helpdesk, say its for funding monitoring and for my attention. I’ll pick it up and will be able to investigate and confer with the policy leads if there’s anything that isn’t clear.December 6, 2017 at 2:30 pm #220253
Ruth & Alex,
Without compromising confidentiality, if you do come up with any new rules or interpretations then please can you post back on this thread for those watching with great interest?
CasparDecember 6, 2017 at 3:14 pm #220272
A quick and easy method to determine the status of an Employer is to ascertain the number of employees that relate to the registered company and not the site.
You cannot ascertain from the site EDRS if the Employer is a small employer but only that it may be.
It would be good practice where you use a small employer declaration you should include a statement that it is not connected to any other Company or Group.
As in your example McDonald’s only employ staff in 30% of restaurants trading under their name the other 70% are franchised to either individuals or companies that operate multiple restaurants, as each site has a separate EDRS it is not possible to identify if they are a small employer you must do this at the Employer level.
It is important that the Trading name is not confused with the Company name when determining the employer’s status.December 6, 2017 at 4:07 pm #220291
But how do you ascertain the number of employees that relate to that registered company? Is that the “aggregated” employees on the Employer Data Service?
I like the idea of adding the bit about connected companies to the self-declaration 🙂
If you had a franchise, with fewer than 50 employees, would you consider them to be small? It’s a separate payroll, but is it a separate company? That’s what I don’t know. I’d like a really simple guide on how to decide what counts as “the employer” when it comes to counting staff for the purposes of the small employer waiver. I really don’t feel like becoming an expert on the technicalities of business structures and HMRC, and I don’t think the ESFA should expect us to be.December 6, 2017 at 4:48 pm #220305
So in the employer rules, we define:
E11. We use the term ‘you’ or ‘employer’ to mean the organisation that has the contract of
employment with the apprentice, including apprenticeship training agencies. This may
also include a company or charity whose PAYE scheme you have connected to your
digital account in accordance with HMRC’s definition of connected companies and
charities. This does not refer to individual sites or locations but the company or
connected companies and connected charities as a whole.
I’ve taken some more advice on franchising, and I understand that in all these things there will be a contract for determining the relationship between the franchise and the franchisee (the store/restaurant etc where the apprentice will be employed). Usually in a franchise arrangement the site is paying to use the ‘brand’ but will be employing their own employees. I’ve been told this is how places like McDonald/ Subway/ Specsavers operate their businesses. So if this is the situation that applies, then you should be able to take it that the restaurant you are contracting with is a small employer if they employed an average of 49 staff or less in the previous 12 months.
With businesses like a pub, you would need to ascertain whether the pub was what is termed as ‘managed’ pub (where the chain is employing the staff) or a ‘tenanted’ pub (where the chain may own the pub but the tenant is likely responsible for employing staff). Again there should be an agreement determining how that site operates, and you could ask that this is confirmed in such an agreement when you ask for their declaration.
If the employer says they are going to pay levy, that should be an indication that you need to use the aggregated employees and probably will be ineligible for the waiver. As Martin says, there are certain good practice things you could include any any declaration the employer makes, and you may be able to confirm this or challenge through Companies House accounts. obviously if you have evidence that shows that a relationship showing in EDRS is not correct and there should be no aggregated number of employees, it would be good to have that data corrected.
December 7, 2017 at 10:19 am #220459
- This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by AlexSFA.
Your statement regarding franchised restaurants is not correct as it is normal for franchisees to operate more than one restaurant and in these cases, you have to consider the Employing Company and not an individual restaurant. Even then in some instances the franchisee company may be a connected company to the parent company (franchiser).
I think it would help providers if the ESFA produced an Employer factsheet and exemplar declaration that employers can use as evidence for self-declaration as a small employer.
I can see this being a common issue at audit due to the complicities which neither Providers or Employers fully understand.
RegardsDecember 7, 2017 at 11:24 am #220482
This is all really useful, thank you! 🙂
Yes, agree with Martin that many franchisees have multiple branches, so we’d count all employees under that franchisee.
Also, I rang the Employer Data Service this morning and found out some critical info that I never knew! Apparently, if an ERN begins with 9, it’s been verified by Blue Sheep. If it starts with a 1 or 2, it hasn’t been verified. I didn’t even know you could get an ERN without going through Blue Sheep, but other organisations like Thompson Directories chuck a load of data in there too. The woman I spoke to was very scathing about their data, and said that they “sometimes get it right”.
The example I had a problem with, the Employer Name had been put down as the Trading Name, which is a trading name used by many companies. The Employer Data Service automatically links those together, resulting in a high aggregated employees!
All you have to do to get it fixed is to get the company verified, and then use their ERN beginning with 9. You can do that by “updating” the existing record, which triggers Blue Sheep to call the company. In our case, it was apparently such as mess, they asked us to just create a whole new record.
Virtually all our ERNs for employers coming up on that Small Employer report, began with 1 or 2, so hopefully this will solve the problem.
Did everyone else already know this about verified ERNs? I’d never heard of it before. I don’t actually get the ERNs myself, another team do, but they’ve never raised it.December 7, 2017 at 12:22 pm #220497
That feedback is really useful, not only to my personal development and understanding of these issues, but also because I will feed this back to various teams including the team managing EDRS. This will help us to ensure IAG is clear and provides us with an opportunity to see if we can identify any potential improvements to these services.
AlexDecember 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm #220503
I’ve just looked at mine and get error message when it loads “A query or expression contains an unknown column. Please contact your administrator. Sum: FRM1718 Number of Queries ”
2016/17 work fineDecember 7, 2017 at 1:33 pm #220524
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