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Pooled PAYE schemes and the Apprenticeship Levy

A pooled PAYE scheme is where multiple employers use a single PAYE scheme to report PAYE information to HMRC.  Pooled payroll schemes are a historic practice, now only used by a small number of employers. We are not currently accepting any new requests from employers to pool PAYE schemes.

Where a pooled payroll scheme is operated, there may be some employers within it who have a liability to pay the levy and some who do not. It is the individual secondary contributors for National Insurance purposes who will or will not have a liability, if their pay bill is greater than £3 million and some employers in the pooled scheme may be below this limit. Employers should consider their individual levy liability based on their own pay bill and whether they are connected to other employers. If they are part of a pooled payroll scheme, they should then follow this guidance and pay any levy due.

Unconnected employers using a pooled payroll scheme where they do not have a liability to pay the levy
Where an employer is part of a pooled PAYE scheme but does not have a liability to pay the levy because they have an annual pay bill of less than £3 million (subject to the connection rules), that employer does not need to do anything and no change is required to the pooled payroll. However, each employer in the pooled payroll should monitor their pay bill in case their pay bill increases and that increase results in them becoming liable to pay the levy. If they do become liable to pay the levy (because their pay bill exceeds £3 million) they will need to set up a separate PAYE scheme.