CSA payments for child on an apprenticeship course
May 16, 2011
Apprenticeship courses seem to cause a lot of confusion with parents, children and the Child Support Agency. A non-resident parent is supposed to support their child while they are in full-time education, such as at school, college or university. As soon as that child leaves full-time education, whether to become unemployed or take up a job, full-time or part-time, the obligation of the NRP to pay the CSA stops.
But what about Apprenticeship courses? When a child, or young adult as they would be in these instances, enrols on an apprenticeship course are they in education or the work-place?
Apprenticeship courses are, by and large, paid positions; so the person on the course is earning a wage. While it is true that they are often low paid, a wage is still earned. The idea is that the person on the course will gain valuable on the job training and will end the apprenticeship course with a full-time job that they have been trained for, whatever the vocation.
But what about the CSA? Should the CSA be chasing parents for money when the child is on an apprenticeship course? The answer, as always, is unclear and we have, on this website, examples of the Child Support Agency doing contradictory things with regards to apprenticeship courses. This example here from a Mr Miller tells of how his son enrolled on an apprenticeship course for dentistry, and his CSA payments stopped. However, the CSA then chased him for arrears, claiming that even though his daughter was on an apprenticeship course, she was learning while she was on it, so they demanded payment from him.
Equally, the daughter of Anthony Wilde enrolled on an apprenticeship course for hairdressing and, despite the fact that she was working, her mother continued to claim child benefit and her father had to pay the CSA.
In contradiction, Marcus writes how his daughter wanted to take on an apprenticeship course but her mother refused to let her do it because she didn’t want her CSA money affected, instead forcing her into college.
So which is it? Is the NRP liable to pay the CSA when their child is on an apprenticeship course, earning money, or not?