The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has asked the government to delay the introduction of the upcoming Apprenticeship Levy, citing the economic storm created by Brexit.
The body say that the levy would place a severe burden on businesses in the licensed hospitality sector at a time of economic uncertainty.
From April 2017, all employers operating in the UK with a pay bill of over £3 million each year will be required to pay the levy, which will be charged at 0.5% of their annual pay bill. Businesses that already pay into existing apprenticeship schemes will still be required to pay.
ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: '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.'
Nicholls continued: '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.'
'We urge them to rethink the introduction of a measure that will place added strain on employers at such an uncertain time,' she concluded.
Nicholls added that the ALMR has liaised with the government to voice its concerns.