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Am I Classed as an Employee If They Don't Pay My Wage?

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Employee Employer Company Money Wage

Q.

I am half way through my first year as an Electrical Apprentice, however I recently lost my job. I have found someone who will take me on, but they can't afford to pay me.

My mum has agreed with the company that she will pay a weekly wage. This is so that I can finish my apprenticeship. The college have informed me that the company need to complete a form to say that I am employed and then they can I finish my apprenticeship otherwise it will need to go on hold. Can the company I work for class me as employed even though I am not getting a wage?

(J.S, 12 March 2009)

A.

Hello and thank you for your interesting question.

It is important to remember that the UK Government is keen to support apprenticeships, for 16 – 18 year old especially, so you have the law on your side.

In the current economic situation, there are many employment situations that are rewriting the rules, or certainly requiring some new rules to be written. I would suggest that your situation is not unusual and, rather like car plant workers accepting shorter working weeks instead of losing their jobs, you are likely to not be alone.

Excellent Building Blocks

What is key here is that you want to work, you have found a company that will take you on and you have family support. These are excellent building blocks for a solid future and, without a little bit of realistic leeway, you cold easily be on the dole instead, which is neither good for you nor the future of the country.

Even though apprenticeships are a crucial part of the Government’s plans for maintaining its focus on full time education for all up to the age of 18, which it considers apprenticeships to include, there is surprisingly little rules and regulations.

In 2008, workers unions complained that apprentices were being taking advantage of by unscrupulous employers and stated that apprentices should be entitled to the minimum wage.

Hard for All Employers

However, this is not law and may not ever be, especially with the current economic climate making it harder for employers to pay any staff, let alone people that they are not legally obliged to.

Many companies do not pay apprentices, although this is not all together fair, and they should pay the minimum wage, according to the Government guidelines.

For you, your mother and the new company to be totally above board, it would be a good idea for you to be paid the appropriate sum as stated above. The company can sign the form as required stating that you are an employee and you remain an apprentice for your college course. Be aware that, this year, some rules are being rewritten as the recession takes hold, so be prepared to argue your case if necessary.

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[Add a Comment]
tossy - Your Question:
My son is serving an apprenticeship ( Joiner/Carpenter—Fas Run)….His employer finishes him every evening, an hour earlier than he is supposed to finish,( 2 hours on Fridays) and stops payment for this time……Can he do this….My son is losing a lot of money, and NOT through his own fault…….Can you please let me know if this is legal….Concerned Parent….

Our Response:
You would have to look at the terms and conditions of his contract and contracted hours. If your son is contracted for a specific amount of hours per week, then regardless of whether he finishes early he would still officially be entitled for payment of those hours (as a rule apprentices are contracted for a minimum of 30 hours per week). If you are still unsure, you may wish to give ACAS a call.
AnApprenticeship - 18-Jan-17 @ 1:57 PM
My son is serving an apprenticeship ( Joiner/Carpenter—Fas Run)…..His employer finishes him every evening, an hour earlier than he is supposed to finish,( 2 hours on Fridays)and stops payment for this time…… Can he do this…..My son is losing a lot of money, and NOT through his own fault……..Can you please let me know if this is legal…. Concerned Parent….
tossy - 18-Jan-17 @ 11:54 AM
Purdie17 - Your Question:
My daughter is an apprentice hairdresser earning £3.50 an hour. For the last 3 months her wages haven't been paid in full on th specified date and have been paid in little bits. This month she has only been paid half wih no explanation or any indication as to when the rest will be paid. She is ill this week and has messaged to say she is still ill this morning and her employer hasn't even responded she has just put a message on the group work chat saying molly I'll and not coming in the works night out. My daughter also asked in the message when she could expect her pay with no reply. Is her employer getting funding (I'm sure she is) so clearly she keeps that for herself and her other employees and doesn't pay my daughter. What is the way forward with this.

Our Response:
You would need to call ACAS to find out her rights.
AnApprenticeship - 7-Dec-15 @ 12:45 PM
My daughter is an apprentice hairdresser earning £3.50 an hour. For the last 3 months her wages haven't been paid in full on th specified date and have been paid in little bits. This month she has only been paid half wih no explanation or any indication as to when the rest will be paid. She is ill this week and has messaged to say she is still ill this morning and her employer hasn't even responded she has just put a message on the group work chat saying molly I'll and not coming in the works night out. My daughter also asked in the message when she could expect her pay with no reply. Is her employer getting funding (I'm sure she is) so clearly she keeps that for herself and her other employees and doesn't pay my daughter. What is the way forward with this.
Purdie17 - 5-Dec-15 @ 1:46 PM
Hi Karen I heard you're son has not been paid by key rail training ltd I believe I could help you if I could contact you or you could contact me if you would like to do that I will forward you my details
Ela74 - 22-May-15 @ 9:54 AM
@mamie - you don't say how old your son is but officially Child Benefit stops on August 31 on or after your child’s 16th birthday if they leave education or training. It continues if they stay in approved education or training (but you must tell the Child Benefit Office). However, approved training should be unpaid and includes: Access to Apprenticeships in England and Foundation Apprenticeships or Traineeships in Wales. Courses that are part of a job contract are not approved. I would also seek further advice from the apprenticeship body regarding your son's disability -as given it is a very active course you will need to ensure that everything is in place for him to be catered for properly. I hope this helps.
AnApprenticeship - 24-Oct-14 @ 1:42 PM
my son wants to start a football apprenticeship but he only has 30% heart capacity and was told that it wouldnt matter because they just dont insure him and also would he be considered as employed and loose his child benefit if he went ahead with this apprenticeship?
mamie - 24-Oct-14 @ 11:48 AM
hi my son has been doing an apprenticeship with a company called keyrail training ltd doing track maintenance but for the past 3 months he has not been paid his still been going into work as the boss keeps telling him he will get a payment but his still has not been paid i myself have spoke to the boss and he told me that my son will be paid and when i try and ring him nowhe does not answer the phone what can i do
karen - 26-Sep-14 @ 2:35 PM
I am partway through my level 3 in hairdressing and have been based at my work place over 3 years. I'm 19 and receive £95 a week. I am the only junior so I receive insufficient training, instead doing all the menial tasks I carried out in my first 2 years, I don't attend college (although I did for my level 2) has my employer wanted to train me in house, however this has not worked out due to the fact she only spends 1-2 days a week at the salon and is then with clients so I am given hand outs to complete in my own time.I've recently found out that I'm pregnant and within a week of informing my employer, was told I'd have to register for self employment as they're setting on 2 part-time trainees. As I can't afford to be self employed because I don't have a client base then I have no option but to leave. I know this is probably what they want but I can't see a way out. This is causing me a great deal of stress.
tinkerbell - 31-Aug-11 @ 7:48 AM
Hi, I am 2 months into an Apprenticeship working as an 'Apprentice Clinic Receptionist' at an NHS hospital. I go to college 1 day a week every other week, and am finding it very difficult financially, am I classed as a student? Discounts/free prescriptions and dental check-ups would be a help!!
Josie - 23-Mar-11 @ 11:05 AM
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