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Working Hours and Holidays

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 24 May 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 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
Hi, I am just about to start an apprenticeship through my current job where I have been employed for 6 years. I am currently working 25 hours, which will be increased to 30 at the start of the apprenticeship in order to qualify. From what I understand the company is obliged to give apprentices 20 % of their contracted working hours off for study. My manager informed me today that she is thinking that I should study in my spare time as if she gives me the time off I will be spending less time at work than now but get paid more due to my hours increase. There's currently 3 other employees who work full time but are allowed study time off. Is the employer entitled to do this as to me it appears as discrimination! I'd really appreciate a reply so I know my rights before my meeting to discuss this. Thank you.
Ditzi - 23-Mar-18 @ 3:59 PM
zez - Your Question:
I'm 22 and starting my first year in a apprenticeship.i would like to know:1) How much should I be paid?2) How many hours a week should I be doing?

Our Response:
All employers may have different rates of pay (the minimum rate for an apprentice will be £3.70 per hour from April). They will also have different work hours. Apprentices would normally be expected to work for at least 30 hours per week and spend a day at college also.
AnApprenticeship - 23-Mar-18 @ 12:31 PM
i'm 22 and starting my first year in a apprenticeship. i would like to know: 1) How much should i be paid? 2) How many hours a week should i be doing?
zez - 22-Mar-18 @ 7:51 PM
Rhys - Your Question:
Hi guys, I've been a plumbing apprentice for a little over a year now. The head plumber has left the firm meaning there hasn't been much work, I just wanted to know if I'm legally entitled to payment for the days off I am told to have by the firm due to lack of work, as I would be working if it was up to me.

Our Response:
You would have to look at the terms and conditions of your employment contract to see what you have agreed to when signing the contract, please see link here . If you do not feel you are receiving the training and work experience required for the job you can discuss this with your employer directly, or you apprentice provider. Please also see link here.
AnApprenticeship - 22-Mar-18 @ 10:00 AM
Hi guys, I've been a plumbing apprentice for a little over a year now. The head plumber has left the firm meaning there hasn't been much work, I just wanted to know if I'm legally entitled to payment for the days off I am told to have by the firm due to lack of work, as I would be working if it was up to me.
Rhys - 21-Mar-18 @ 5:10 PM
Paulie - Your Question:
Hi I wonder if you can help please. My daughter wants to resign from her apprenticeship in a hairdressing salon after 6 months. She has attended day release one day a week for which she has been paid her normal hourly wage of £5.00 per hour (she has just turned 18). She has signed a contract that allows the employer to recoup training costs I don't think the employer receives any funding for her so was wondering if the employer can recoup the wages she has received while on day release?

Our Response:
A training agreement is a contract between employer and employee that sets out the terms and conditions for paying for training. Her employer should speculate how the money is spent on training and what it can claim back. If you are still unsure, I suggest she/you gives ACAS a call after reading through her contract and employee handbook.
AnApprenticeship - 1-Mar-18 @ 11:17 AM
Hi I wonder if you can help please. My daughter wants to resign from her apprenticeship in a hairdressing salon after 6 months.She has attended day release one day a week for which she has been paid her normal hourly wage of £5.00 per hour (she has just turned 18). She has signed a contract that allows the employer to recoup training costs I don't think the employer receives any funding for her so was wondering if the employer can recoup the wages she has received while on day release?
Paulie - 28-Feb-18 @ 2:44 PM
My boyfriend who is 17 has an apprenticeship in which he goes to college Monday’s and is works Tuesday to Friday 8:30-17:00, and gets a half hour lunch each day. He is being told by the owner he must stay behind after 5 as it’s is not good work ethic and has been threatened to be fired, I was wondering if college hours count as working hours and if so can he legally work longer with under 18’s being capped at an average of 40hours a week max?
M - 22-Feb-18 @ 1:56 PM
nikki - Your Question:
Hi, can you answer to me please!??! If I work 48 hours/week, how many days of holidays am I entitled to?? Like hours I now, but how many days??

Our Response:
You can calculate the annual leave you are due via the link here .
AnApprenticeship - 16-Jan-18 @ 2:49 PM
I am about to complete my apprenticeship and the company i have been doing my apprenticeship with have offered to take me on on a permanent contract full time. When should my contract date be, should it be the date I started the apprenticeship or the date they take me on full time.
Youngy - 16-Jan-18 @ 1:59 PM
Hi, can you answer to me please!??! If I work 48 hours/week, how many days of holidays am I entitled to?? Like hours I now, but how many days??
nikki - 15-Jan-18 @ 11:14 PM
My 16 year olddaughter has a hairdressing apprenticeship. She has one night"s training. She starts at 9am and finishes at 6pm some nights but 5.30 pm on the training night. She had training from 5.30pm and she never got out her work until 10.10pm. She has not been given a copy of a contract so I can't check what is acceptable for unpaid training. She was in work for just over 13 hours but had an hour's lunch break. Can you help? Thank you.
AJ - 12-Jan-18 @ 6:39 PM
Pops - Your Question:
My 20 year old boyfriend is coming to the end of his IT level 3 apprenticeship. He has just been told he has to come in on the weekend to do unpaid overtime to help with an IT migration, without any time off in lieu, and when he stated he thought his contract only held him to 40 hours a week, which he does already for them, the manager told him to man up and get on with it. Is this legal?

Our Response:
If your boyfriend is contracted to 40 hours, he does not have to work above his contracted hours, it is discretionary. If your boyfriend feels he is being treated unfairly, please see link here , which will outline his options.
AnApprenticeship - 9-Jan-18 @ 2:07 PM
My 20 year old boyfriend is coming to the end of his IT level 3 apprenticeship. He has just been told he has to come in on the weekend to do unpaid overtime to help with an IT migration, without any time off in lieu, and when he stated he thought his contract only held him to 40 hours a week, which he does already for them, the manager told him to man up and get on with it. Is this legal?
Pops - 8-Jan-18 @ 9:59 AM
tucks - Your Question:
My 17 year old daughter has started an apprenticeship with a horse riding school she has to work from 7.30 in the morning until 5.30 with a 2 hour lunch four days a week and then has to work from 7.30 in the morning to 10.30 of the evening on another day. With 3 hours break.when she finishes at 10.30 at night she sometimes has to be in again the following morning for 7.30 are these hours legal for someone so young?as they seem long days and has to work alone on the late shift.

Our Response:
Apprentices under 18 must not exceed the eight hour working day or 40 hours per week. They also should have a daily rest of 12 hours between work shifts. You can see more via the link here. You may wish to give her contract a read over and give ACAS a call if it does not fit in with the European Working Time Directive guidelines.
AnApprenticeship - 5-Jan-18 @ 12:07 PM
Jojo - Your Question:
Hi, My 20 year old daughter is doing a hairdressing apprenticeship and her employer has included Boxing Day and the 2nd January as part of her holidays and so is not getting them as part of her public holiday entitlement.Can she do this?Thanks

Our Response:
Your daughter would have to read the terms and conditions of your employment contract to see what her holiday allocation is. You can also see more via the Worksmart link here , which should further help answer your question.
AnApprenticeship - 5-Jan-18 @ 11:48 AM
Showy - Your Question:
My son finished a 4 year apprenticeship in June 2017 & has been offered a better job elsewhere. He has handed a month's notice in & the company has asked for all the money back for his apprenticeship, they said they will start deducting it out of his wage in January but that he will still owe the company is this correct?

Our Response:
Much depends upon the terms and conditions of his apprenticeship contract. If your son agreed to a contract that specifies the reimbursement of training funds if the employee leaves before a certain length of time, then your son is bound by these terms and would have to return the training costs.
AnApprenticeship - 5-Jan-18 @ 11:35 AM
my 17 year old daughter has started an apprenticeship with a horse riding school she has to work from 7.30 in the morning until 5.30 with a 2 hour lunch four days a week and then has to work from 7.30 in the morning to 10.30 of the evening on another day. With 3 hours break. when she finishes at 10.30 at night she sometimes has to be in again the following morning for 7.30 are these hours legal for someone so young?as they seem long days and has to work alone on the late shift.
tucks - 4-Jan-18 @ 9:01 PM
Hi, My 20 year old daughter is doing a hairdressing apprenticeship and her employer has included Boxing Day and the 2nd January as part of her holidays and so is not getting them as part of her public holiday entitlement. Can she do this? Thanks
Jojo - 4-Jan-18 @ 6:09 PM
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