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Working Hours and Holidays

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 18 Jul 2019 | 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 daughter is employed as a hairdresser apprentice in Glasgow. Now she has been hospitalized and will probably stay for more than 4 days. Her employer told her her wages will be cut! Is this legal? I saw one of her previous pay stubs and for a day of sickness she got money deducted. The webside gov.uk readsapprentices are entiteled to sick pay. I live in Germany, were rules and laws are different, she would get sick pay here in any case....please help! Thank you!!
Tine - 18-Jul-19 @ 2:28 PM
my son is now in his 7th month as an apprentice chef his employer is not making sure he is able to get home safely via public transport after evening shifts, is there any law as its costing him money he cant afford for taxis
ian - 2-Jul-19 @ 10:12 AM
Hi I am a supported lodging carer and the girl who lives with me is an apprentice at a hairdressers She tells me that they work for 9 hours daily and sometimes doesn't even get a lunch break. She has one day off and one day college. Is she working to many hours when she does Mondays /Tuesday/Friday /Saturday from 9-18.00? Can somebody help me to help her, please Thank you Sonja
Son - 27-Apr-19 @ 8:29 PM
Hi my son is an apprencticehip, only started about a month agao. He has to work good Friday and his normal day off is a monday. Is he entitled to days of in lieu for this ? Many thanks
alex - 18-Apr-19 @ 11:10 AM
Hi My son is working an an apprentice for a small electrical company as an electrician. He is in his 2nd year and has been attending college in blocks of 2 weeks every couple of months. His employer has just told him that he is not going to pay him whilst he is at college, is this legal or is there some policy I can find to dispute this.
Jac - 1-Mar-19 @ 2:48 PM
my daughter has just finished level 2 childcare but goes to college for english and maths, she has a maths exam next week. and a new position offered at another nursery doing level 3 as her present company cannot keep her, but the colledge are saying she cannot leave until maths and english are completed please advise. can you leave an appretiship early. ive done the corse just maths and english
DONALD DUCK - 12-Feb-19 @ 6:06 PM
My son is doing a degree apprenticeship working from 07:00 to 18:00 Mon - Fri with a day at university which is classed as a workking day. Is he working within the legal requirements?
DW - 6-Feb-19 @ 7:58 PM
please can you advise my daughter is doing hair apprenticeship and her days off are sunday monday but now for the next 7 mondays she on training course should she be given other time off in lieu .
killymum - 17-Jan-19 @ 2:15 PM
Hi, I need an advice please. I volunteered for 3 months for an employer in accounting field (to see if I can manage and how we were getting on)and after 3months (In September) both of us agreed that I should start an apprenticeship in accounting. I passed already 2 exams but the employer has not shown me anything new since then because of lack of personnel - it is 4 months later. What should I do ? I don't gain experience and I can not practice what I am studying. The training provider and my employer are in the same building knowing each other. Can I change the employer but keep the provider ? The apprenticeship is funded by the Goverment. Thank you very much.
gina - 5-Jan-19 @ 9:36 PM
A friend has just started as an apprentice in a Care Home.She has now been told she has to work 10 am to 7 pm on Christmas Day.As an apprentice, is she not entitled to have off Bank Holidays?
SUFC Di - 29-Nov-18 @ 10:02 AM
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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