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Working Hours and Holidays

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 15 Nov 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Holiday Entitlement Working Hours

While the main focus of working as an apprentice is to train, gain experience and a qualification, you are also an employee and entitled to certain rights. Just because you are young or may not have had much work experience does not mean your employer can treat you any differently or give you less holiday entitlement.

It is important to know what your rights are so that you know you are not being made to work too many hours or being given too little holiday. Check the details of your contract and don’t feel forced to work too much.

Holiday Entitlement

When working as an apprentice you have the right to the same holiday entitlement as other employees. The standard holiday entitlement for employee in the UK is 4 weeks off each year. Your employer may offer more than this or increase it when you have been their longer, but this minimum still applies.

Check your contract to find out what it says about holiday entitlement and make sure you keep a tally of how many days you take off to make sure you have been able to take it all.

Working Hours Directive

The working hours directive covers how many hours an employee should have to work per week. The amount is set at an average of 48 hours. This means that you may have to work more than this one week, but it should be balanced out by working less in another. Your average is worked out over a 17 week period and you cannot be forced to work beyond this limit unless you choose to opt out.

Rest Breaks

The working hours directive also provides strict guidelines on rest breaks during the day and breaks between periods of work. If you have to work six hours or more then you must be allowed at least a 20 minute rest break, though your employer can tell you when you must take it. You are also entitled to at least 11 hours free between each working day and 24 hours clear of work each week, or 48 hours clear each fortnight.

Young Workers

If you have left school but are under the age of 18 then there are slightly different rules. As a young worker your working hours cannot be longer than 40 hours per week rather than the normal 48. Also, your employer must give you at least 12 hours off between shifts and at least 24 hours clear from working each week. Make sure that your employer is aware of these entitlements and speak up if they try to flout them.

It is important that you understand what working hours your employer can make you work and what holiday entitlement you have. As an apprentice, you are also an employee and therefore the working hours directive applies to you. This means that you can take 4 weeks’ holiday a year and not be made to work more than and average of 48 hours a week. If you are between 16 and 18 then there are extra entitlements that apply to young workers.

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My son is currently doing a carpenter apprenticeship but his boss keeps making him miss college is that allowed Thanks
Sally - 15-Nov-18 @ 7:23 PM
Hi, What can I do if I want to work more than 48 hours as an apprentice and the normal staff is allowed to do it? Can I opt out from the 48 hours working week? Thanks
Zolt - 13-Oct-18 @ 2:54 PM
My son is 19 and in the 3rd year as an apprentice. He has been advised by his employer that he is to work nights (4 per week). one of the night coincides with his college day and he has been told by his employer not to go to college and work the night instead. Are they correct to do this?
CJ - 3-Oct-18 @ 12:43 PM
Hi my son who is 18 years has just started an apprenticeship he works 6-6 Monday to Friday and 6-1 on Saturday which means he works 67 hours per week and the provider has said they are his hours their non negotiable can they do this?
Gjrss - 1-Oct-18 @ 10:12 PM
My son works shift patterns as an apprentice (16 years old) does the term "per week" equate to a 7 day pattern? or does it mean Monday - Sunday
Simon - 13-Sep-18 @ 2:05 PM
keke - Your Question:
Hi my daughter is an apprentice nursery assistant. She is paid a set wage each month so during school holidays she gets the same pay each month. Does anyone know if she is still entitled to a family holiday in term time, or can they refuse because they dont work during term times?

Our Response:
Your daughter would have to look at the terms and conditions of her employment contract, which should give this information.
AnApprenticeship - 4-Sep-18 @ 1:41 PM
Hi my daughter is an apprentice nursery assistant. She is paid a set wage each month so during school holidays she gets the same pay each month. Does anyone know if she is still entitled to a family holiday in term time, or can they refuse because they dont work during term times?
keke - 29-Aug-18 @ 8:12 PM
My daughter is 16 and starts an apprenticeship in sept she has to work 4 days in a hairdressers but the hours are 9 hours a day and 1 day 10 hours is this right she has 2 days off and 1 day at collage
Mel - 24-Aug-18 @ 8:56 AM
Rosie - Your Question:
I’m a 19 year old apprentice and I want to know how many hour a 19 year old apprentice can work a week as I’m currently working 37 hours a week without a contract. Thank you.

Our Response:
There are laws in place to protect how many hours you can be made to work at any time. The limit for an average working week is 48 hours, or 40 if you are under 18. You can work more than this in one week but over a 17 week period it must average out to less than this, please see the link here. With regards to not having a contract, please see the link here, which should help you further.
AnApprenticeship - 10-Aug-18 @ 11:35 AM
I’m a 19 year old apprentice and I want to know how many hour a 19 year old apprentice can work a week as I’m currently working 37 hours a week without a contract. Thank you.
Rosie - 7-Aug-18 @ 7:37 AM
I have a question about holidays as an apprenticeship. I work at JLR as a service apprentice, my contract states that all elements of sales are not aloud end of Feb off and all of March and end of August and all of September, I thought this was just the sales guys. I handed in my holiday request form in January 2018, I’ve chased and chased but nothing so I booked a holiday for end of August thinking I had got the time off as no one as explained or mentioned to me until I asked again last week. I have paid for the holiday ...what can I do will I lose my job!
Reg - 31-Jul-18 @ 11:11 PM
Darcy - Your Question:
I am an apprentice age 16 and I only get 1 day off per week, aren’t I entitled to two?

Our Response:
If you’re under 18, you can’t work more than eight hours per day or 40 hours a week. You may wish to speak to your employer/apprentice provider directly and also read your contract to see what it specifies.
AnApprenticeship - 29-Jun-18 @ 11:40 AM
I am an apprentice age 16 and I only get 1 day off per week, aren’t I entitled to two?
Darcy - 28-Jun-18 @ 4:24 PM
Mrdarcy - Your Question:
I’m about to start an apprenticeship and I have just left school two days ago. They won’t me to start on Monday without having any holiday, is this allowed? They also want me to work 6 days a week which will total 52.5 hours per week, is this allowed?

Our Response:
You are in the working adult world now, which means six weeks' summer holidays no longer exist (unless you choose to go to college or study). With regards to your working hours much depends upon how old you are, please see link here which will explain more.
AnApprenticeship - 25-Jun-18 @ 2:39 PM
I’m about to start an apprenticeship and I have just left school two days ago. They won’t me to start on Monday without having any holiday, is this allowed? They also want me to work 6 days a week which will total 52.5 hours per week, is this allowed?
Mrdarcy - 23-Jun-18 @ 6:34 PM
Hello my 17-year-old son has just completed his 2nd week as an apprentice builder with a small local building company.He has now been left on 'the job' twice by the builder with orders to complete all the labouring work.He has just successfully completed a full year at college studying carpentry and joinery and was hoping to enhance his skills and learn new ones to enable him to follow a career in the building trade.My son has come home each day regaling his day, which has basically consisted of carrying heavy building materials from vans to building site, taking out loft insulation and travelling to builders' merchants.My husband and I both feel, sadly, that his boss is treating him as a labourer and there are no plans in place for him to commence college to back up his practical experience with theory.The boss has accused our son of having a 'teenage attitude' and constantly issues derogatory remarks towards him when he is doing his best to impress his boss with his hard work.Today he paid him £5 less (£143) as he said he was 'deducting money from his wage' to pay for an error that he made whilst trying to saw a piece of wood.My husband and I both feel that our son is being unfairly treat by his boss (even the boss' colleagues have commented on his treatment of our son) and are not sure how to progress with this.We have advised our son not to go back to work on Monday, but are worried that, although we can protect and help our son; the builder will simply replace him with another young 'apprentice' who might not have support from his family.What would you advise? Many thanks in anticipation of your response.
Mama Wilko - 22-Jun-18 @ 6:55 PM
Hello my 17-year-old son has just completed his 2nd week as an apprentice builder with a small local building company.He has now been left on 'the job' twice by the builder with orders to complete all the labouring work.He has just successfully completed a full year at college studying carpentry and joinery and was hoping to enhance his skills and learn new ones to enable him to follow a career in the building trade.My son has come home each day regaling his day, which has basically consisted of carrying heavy building materials from vans to building site, taking out loft insulation and travelling to builders' merchants.My husband and I both feel, sadly, that his boss is treating him as a labourer and there are no plans in place for him to commence college to back up his practical experience with theory.The boss has accused our son of having a 'teenage attitude' and constantly issues derogatory remarks towards him when he is doing his best to impress his boss with his hard work.Today he paid him £5 less (£143) as he said he was 'deducting money from his wage' to pay for an error that he made whilst trying to saw a piece of wood.My husband and I both feel that our son is being unfairly treat by his boss (even the boss' colleagues have commented on his treatment of our son) and are not sure how to progress with this.We have advised our son not to go back to work on Monday, but are worried that, although we can protect and help our son; the builder will simply replace him with another young 'apprentice' who might not have support from his family.What would you advise? Many thanks in anticipation of your response.
Mama Wilko - 22-Jun-18 @ 6:54 PM
Wade14 - Your Question:
I’m 17 and has a 30 hour contract for an apprentice. I’m sure when I started I was told I can only work 5 days in a row but they’ve put me down to work 6-7. I need to check my contract but I have looked online and I can’t find it anywhere. Also, if I do a 7 and a half hour shift, I get 1 20 minute break. If I do an 8 hour, I get 2 15 minute breaks. I work in a supermarket. Is this acceptable? I did read that every 4 and a half hours I’m entitled to half an hour, but I don’t want to bring my boss up on it unless I’m absolutely correct.

Our Response:
Check your contract regarding your working hours and days as it will be contained in there. Your employer is working within the European working time directive for your breaktimes, meaning they are legal (an employee is entitled to a 20 minute break for every six hours or more that they work).
AnApprenticeship - 15-Jun-18 @ 12:22 PM
I’m 17 and has a 30 hour contract for an apprentice. I’m sure when I started I was told I can only work 5 days in a row but they’ve put me down to work 6-7. I need to check my contract but I have looked online and I can’t find it anywhere. Also, if I do a 7 and a half hour shift, I get 1 20 minute break. If I do an 8 hour, I get 2 15 minute breaks. I work in a supermarket. Is this acceptable? I did read that every 4 and a half hours I’m entitled to half an hour, but I don’t want to bring my boss up on it unless I’m absolutely correct.
Wade14 - 12-Jun-18 @ 8:18 AM
my son is in an apprenticeship on minimum pay level and being asked to work overtime on the day which is off site, so then he is having to buy meals which cost more than the overtime he is paid which is at single rate, is this correct?
Sam - 24-May-18 @ 4:44 PM
hellou0701 - Your Question:
Hello, my son after completing an apprenticeship within the NHS, was then given a 6 month contract for his job on a Band 3 pay scale, in line with the role he was performing. The six months have come to an end and he was told he would have to reapply and be interviewed for his job. He was called yesterday to say he had not got the job, is this fair, ethical or even legal? For a young man to be paid less than basic wage on the understanding that he would have a job at the end of it.does not seem right to me :/

Our Response:
There is no promise that after any apprenticeship that a job is guaranteed. Unfortunately, if your son was contracted, then there is nothing to say his employer has to renew the contract either.
AnApprenticeship - 22-May-18 @ 3:00 PM
Hello, my son after completing an apprenticeship within the NHS, was then given a 6 month contract for his job on a Band 3 pay scale, in line with the role he was performing. The six months have come to an end and he was told he would have to reapply and be interviewed for his job. He was called yesterday to say he had not got the job, is this fair, ethical or even legal? For a young man to be paid less than basic wage on the understanding that he would have a job at the end of it....does not seem right to me :/
hellou0701 - 22-May-18 @ 1:07 PM
We are contemplating taking on an apprentice, however as we are a small office as everyone apart from me works on the road etc, how do i go about my holidays as he/she would be on their own in the office?Is this allowed?
JONES - 11-May-18 @ 10:55 AM
wonder woman - Your Question:
Hi there, my daughter is 19 and has done 2 years hairdressing apprenticeship and is just about to start her level 3 but at a different salon. She had to do a two week trial which she was not paid for but was given £5 a day for lunch & travel which she was told was acceptable as it was covering costs but only got this if she gave in a receipt. She got the job. The problem is she has a contract stating she has to do 35 hours a week but if the salon is not busy she gets sent home and does not get paid. Her boss seems to send her home quite a lot but not other staff members. She has also been paying 20% tax on her earnings which means she brings home way under £100 per week. She does the same job as the other stylists in the salon and is feeling quite fed up. My point is, is this right? Can her boss do this? It seems very unfair. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Our Response:
She should read the terms and conditions of her employment contract to find this out. If the contract states 35 hours, she should be paid for 35 hours. She would need to sort this out with her employer directly and she should be reimbursed for the hours she has not worked (if the contract is fixed at 35 hours). Your daughter should not be paying tax, she would have to contact HMRC to sort this issue out - she should be reimbursed for overpayment of tax too.
AnApprenticeship - 23-Apr-18 @ 2:39 PM
Hi there, my daughter is 19 and has done 2 years hairdressing apprenticeship and is just about to start her level 3 but at a different salon.She had to do a two week trial which she was not paid for but was given £5 a day for lunch & travel which she was told was acceptable as it was covering costs but only got this if she gave in a receipt.She got the job.The problem is she has a contract stating she has to do 35 hours a week but if the salon is not busy she gets sent home and does not get paid.Her boss seems to send her home quite a lot but not other staff members.She has also been paying 20% tax on her earnings which means she brings home way under £100 per week. She does the same job as the other stylists in the salon and is feeling quite fed up. My point is, is this right?Can her boss do this? It seems very unfair.Any advice would be much appreciated.
wonder woman - 21-Apr-18 @ 9:40 AM
Kazdolly - Your Question:
My 18 year old daughter is an apprentice in a salon.Her hours of work are tues/weds/fri/ sat 9:00-18:00 and Thursday is late night finish 9:30-20:00.She says she is her boss states that she is entitled to 20 days annual leave ?Is she not entitled to 28 days annual leave? Since she is off every Sunday and Monday she misses out on any bank holidays.She works 42 hours per week so is not a part time worker.

Our Response:
Much depends upon the terms and conditions of your daughter's contract (which you would have to read to find out what her holiday entitlement is). You can also calculate holiday entitlement via the gov.uk link here. This will inform you whether your daughter's contract falls in line with the European Working Time Directive. If it doesn't, your daughter would have to speak to her employer directly.
AnApprenticeship - 20-Apr-18 @ 9:31 AM
My 18 year old daughter is an apprentice in a salon.Her hours of work are tues/weds/fri/ sat 9:00-18:00 and Thursday is late night finish 9:30-20:00. She says she is her boss states that she is entitled to 20 days annual leave ? Is she not entitled to 28 days annual leave? Since she is off every Sunday and Monday she misses out on any bank holidays . She works 42 hours per week so is not a part time worker .
Kazdolly - 19-Apr-18 @ 9:56 AM
Dawid - Your Question:
Hi, I have started a level 2 business admin apprenticeship at a very big IT distributor company. I have been here for a month and I have found out my department is getting moved to Poland therefore people are being made redundant. We are currently in a consultation period until the end of May and the redundancies are due to happen October 31. Today we all received info on how much the company is willing to give us. 12weeks pay plus 8 weeks bonus for staying until the end. Am I entitled to more? or is this a fair amount considering they are going to stop my training?

Our Response:
As an employee, you would not normally be entitled to statutory redundancy pay unless you have been working for your current employer for two years or more. Therefore, you could look at this as being a fair amount to receive.
AnApprenticeship - 17-Apr-18 @ 11:58 AM
Hi, I have started a level 2 business admin apprenticeship at a very big IT distributor company. I have been here for a month and I have found out my department is getting moved to Poland therefore people are being made redundant. We are currently in a consultation period until the end of May and the redundancies are due to happen October 31. Today we all received info on how much the company is willing to give us. 12weeks pay plus 8 weeks bonus for staying until the end. Am i entitled to more? or is this a fair amount considering they are going to stop my training?
Dawid - 16-Apr-18 @ 5:32 PM
I have been on an apprenticeship due to complete September this year. My employer has said he has to finish me as he cant afford to keep me on. I only have 6 months to go and I have been on this since 2016. Can he do this and how do I go on to complete my apprenticeship. Many thanks
Spooks - 3-Apr-18 @ 2:03 PM
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