Home > Employment Conditions > Working Hours and Holidays

Working Hours and Holidays

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 16 Oct 2017 | 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Mei - Your Question:
Hi I am 22 and I been in a apprenticeship before from a different apprenticeship provider. I finished my level 2, however I moved to another workplace with different apprenticeship provider. however they are paying me apprenticeship minimum wage which is 3.50, is this right ? and also they have said to me that the employer has paid for the apprenticeship so I have to do my year in apprenticeship after that is finished I got to do another year of service with the employer if I don't I would have to pay for the apprenticeship.

Our Response:
Firstly, if you are over the age of 19, then the £3.50 per hour rate applies to apprentices under 19, plus those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. Once you have completed the first year you must be paid the minimum wage rate for your age, please see link here . With regards having to reimburse any training money if you leave before completing a full year with the company, you would have to read the terms of your contract and what you have agreed to when signing the contract. If there is a clause in your contract specifying this, by signing it, you are agreeing to these terms.
AnApprenticeship - 17-Oct-17 @ 10:59 AM
Runder - Your Question:
My son has just started an apprenticeship 3 weeks ago and has been told that he needs to do a month in hand , is it right that he won't get paid for 7 weeks , seems a long time befre they pay him his 3.50 per hour? And how do they expect him to get his business pass and dinners

Our Response:
A month in hand would mean he would get paid at the end of the first month he has worked, as most employees do.
AnApprenticeship - 16-Oct-17 @ 2:29 PM
Hi I am 22 and i been in a apprenticeship before from a different apprenticeship provider... i finished my level 2, however i moved to another workplace with different apprenticeship provider.. however they arepaying me apprenticeship minimum wage which is 3.50, is this right ? and also they have said to me that the employer has paid for the apprenticeship so i have to do my year in apprenticeship after that is finished i got to do another year of service with the employer if i don't i would have to pay for the apprenticeship.
Mei - 16-Oct-17 @ 1:37 PM
My son has just started an apprenticeship 3 weeks ago and has been told that he needs to do a month in hand , is it right that he won't get paid for 7 weeks , seems a long time befre they pay him his 3.50 per hour? And how do they expect him to get his business pass and dinners
Runder - 15-Oct-17 @ 7:41 PM
My grandaughter was 16 in July. She is starting her hairdressing apretón 12th October. She will spend 24 hrs in the salon and 6 hrs at the academy. Does she get the minimum wage for the 30 hrs or just the hours she works in the salon. Thanks
Maz - 11-Oct-17 @ 11:34 PM
Robbo - Your Question:
Hi im currently working as an apprentice lgv my wage was £200 per week but now ive passed my test I am on £6.49 an hour and £8.11 overtime my question is I would like to work as much overtime as I can but am being told I can only work 17 per week also is this hourly rate fair or correct. Thanks.

Our Response:
I cannot work out whether you are still an apprentice or not. If you are still an apprentice then, an apprentice is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £3.50. If you are no longer classed as an apprentice, then you are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for your age, please see link here, which should further answer your question. If your employer wishes you to work no more than 17 hours per week overtime because it falls under the European Working Time Directive, then there is little you can do here.
AnApprenticeship - 9-Oct-17 @ 12:31 PM
Hi im currently working as an apprentice lgv my wage was £200 per week but now ive passed my test i am on £6.49 an hour and £8.11 overtime my question is i would like to work as much overtime as i can but am being told i can only work 17 per week also is this hourly rate fair or correct. Thanks.
Robbo - 7-Oct-17 @ 9:00 PM
jude - Your Question:
Hi my 17 year old son is on a apprenticeship ,he works 9 hour days tues to fri then college 6 hours he also work saturday between5 and 7 hour this is classed as overtime. he mentioned to his boss he doesnt get a day off but they said college is like a day off. hes in a local garage ,i just feel its unfair also theyhave had him building fences ,painting them,laying tons of gravel in the carpark,which has nothing to do with his apprenticeship.car machanic.

Our Response:
As specified in the article,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. You can see more regarding your son's working hours and conditions here. Therefore, your son needs to speak with his employer and/or to his apprentice provider regarding this matter.
AnApprenticeship - 3-Oct-17 @ 10:28 AM
hi my 17 year old son is on a apprenticeship ,he works 9 hour days tues to fri then college 6 hours he also work saturday between5 and 7 hour this is classed as overtime. he mentioned to his boss he doesnt get a day off but they said college is like a day off . hes in a local garage ,i just feel its unfair also theyhave had him building fences,painting them,laying tons of gravel in the carpark,which has nothing to do with his apprenticeship .car machanic .
jude - 2-Oct-17 @ 10:20 AM
Cauls - Your Question:
My 20 year old brother is currently undertaking an apprenticeship with our older brother at a company. However my older brother has recently left and how the company is refusing to pick my brother up (its an electrician apprenticeship) and they are keeping him for longer hours now e.g. today he worked from 5am to 11pm. He is then starting work tomorrow at 5am. What are the hours etc that he can do at 20 years old and who do we contact and how do we go about with a complaint without the risk of him losing his apprenticeship? Thank you for reading.

Our Response:
Firstly, your brother would have to look at the terms and conditions of his employment contract in order to find out his hours and whether they can be exceeded. At age 20, he is treated like any other employer. However, he is entitled to the minimum wage for his age when undertaking overtime and he has a right to speak to his employer directly about these extended hours. Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, regulation 10, a worker is entitled to a rest period of 11 consecutive hours rest in each 24-hour period during which he works for his employer. Therefore, his employer is breaching this. You don't say how long your brother has been employed with the firm, but if he has been an apprentice for more than two years, if his employer dismisses him as a result, he can take the matter to an employment tribunal. Speaking to his apprentice provider may help. He may also wish to give ACAS a call to find out his rights and full options.
AnApprenticeship - 26-Sep-17 @ 1:51 PM
My 20 year old brother is currently undertaking an apprenticeship with our older brother at a company. However my older brother has recently left and how the company is refusing to pick my brother up (its an electrician apprenticeship) and they are keeping him for longer hours now e.g. today he worked from 5am to 11pm. He is then starting work tomorrow at 5am. What are the hours etc that he can do at 20 years old and who do we contact and how do we go about with a complaint without the risk of him losing his apprenticeship?Thank you for reading.
Cauls - 25-Sep-17 @ 9:10 PM
angymee - Your Question:
My son's girlfriend is 17 and an apprentice hairdresser, she has been told she has to work Christmas day or new years day, surely they can't make her? She also works 45 hours a week with no extra pay, I have told her to question this but she is very shy and being so young doesn't want to speak out. It makes me mad that they are taking liberties and are clearly in breach of her rights as a young worker, please help

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know.
AnApprenticeship - 22-Sep-17 @ 2:36 PM
bubbleslevy - Your Question:
My daughter has just applied for an apprentice she was selected for an interview and attend. He said let me know in a couple of days if you want the position. She called the next morning to say yes. He then text 1pm Sunday evening to say. She and two other people would have to come in for a weeks trail Tuesday to sat 9am til 7pm with one hr break. He said on Sunday he will make his decision and this is unpaid. is this allowed. god knows what these apprenticeship do to our children's brains. she fulls like she's in x factor. she's had a proper meltdown today. its a long time to be on your get at just 17.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. If the employer specified that this was the terms (even after she started the job) she has little recourse I'm afraid, except to refuse the terms and to go after an apprenticeship employer that is more respectful of its employees. The less people accept such conditions such as this and internships (where people are expected to work for months without pay), the less employers will be tempted to get away with it. Sad but true.
AnApprenticeship - 21-Sep-17 @ 3:15 PM
Random - Your Question:
My daughter is doing a business administration apprenticeship.the company she is working for has now opened a cafe and is expecting her to serve in it when they are short staffed. I would not class this as Business Administration so does she have the right to refuse?

Our Response:
If this is not described in her apprentice contract as being part of the job, then yes, she can refuse. Your daughter would have to read the terms of the contract and her job description and if it doesn't tie in she should speak with her employer directly.
AnApprenticeship - 21-Sep-17 @ 12:29 PM
My daughter has just applied for an apprentice she was selected for an interview and attend.. He said let me know in a couple of days if you want the position. She called the next morning to say yes. He then text 1pm Sunday evening to say. She and two other people would have to come in for a weeks trail Tuesday to sat 9amtil 7pm with one hr break. He said on Sunday he will make his decision and this is unpaid.. is this allowed.. god knows what these apprenticeship do to our children's brains.. she fulls like she's in x factor... she's had a proper meltdown today.. its a long time to be on your get at just 17..
bubbleslevy - 20-Sep-17 @ 8:55 PM
My daughter is doing a business administration apprenticeship.....the company she is working for has now opened a cafe and is expecting her to serve in it when they are short staffed. I would not class this as Business Administration so does she have the right to refuse?
Random - 20-Sep-17 @ 12:17 PM
My son's girlfriend is 17 and an apprentice hairdresser, she has been told she has to work Christmas day or new years day, surely they can't make her? She also works 45 hours a week with no extra pay, I have told her to question this but she is very shy and being so young doesn't want to speak out. It makes me mad that they are taking liberties and are clearly in breach of her rights as a young worker, please help
angymee - 19-Sep-17 @ 11:59 AM
@Curls - you might be lucky this year if Xmas eve and NYE fall on a Sunday. Unless your salon chooses to open, you'll get an extra two days.
CatGH - 18-Sep-17 @ 3:26 PM
Bit of advice Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year so does New Year's Eve 2017 hairdressers always work on both theses days but we don't work on a Sunday so how woukd I as an employer solve this ? If they worked the Sunday how many days would they have off as Monday is naturally out day off and being on the Christmas Day not knowing how many days for the staff to have off after the bank hols . Confusing this year would be nice for some advice with this one
Curls - 17-Sep-17 @ 12:20 PM
Concerned - Your Question:
My son started a thee year mechanical apprenticeship just on a year ago, last week came home from his holidays and opened his mail, in the mail was a letter from his employee stating that due to a down turn in work he was no longer required. Surely this cannot be legal? he was working for a mid sized engineering company in the northwest

Our Response:
You would have to look at the terms and conditions of his apprenticeship contract and speak to his apprenticeship provider directly to find this out.
AnApprenticeship - 7-Sep-17 @ 10:38 AM
My son started a thee year mechanical apprenticeship just on a year ago, last week came home from his holidays and opened his mail, in the mail was a letter from his employee stating that due to a down turn in work he was no longer required. Surely this cannot be legal? he was working for a mid sized engineering company in the northwest
Concerned - 6-Sep-17 @ 3:38 PM
My daughter is 19 and starting her 2nd year as Apprentice hairdresser. When should she get her wage increase? Also her boss has asked her if she can start to provide her own "blocks" for doing practise hair, is this correct? She hasn't got a contract, should she have some proof of her employment or a learners agreement?
Luna - 26-Aug-17 @ 8:15 AM
schofield - Your Question:
My Son is now nearly 20 and has done 2 years of a 4 year manufacturing engineering apprentice, he has completed the two years day release and has now gained his level 3. He wants to continue further training by doing the HNC course which is one day a week on a Friday. He has told his Employer he will self fund the cost (£2000) and they agreed to this but said he would not get paid for the Friday (which is only a half day)The next day they said he could not do it, with no valid reason. Where do we Stand? thanks

Our Response:
There isn't really much your son can do if he is contracted to do his apprenticeship as his company is not obliged to agree to anything beyond this. Even if his company has verbally agreed in principle, there is nothing stopping his employer from changing its mind if it turns out not to be feasible for any reason. Your son's only recourse is to speak to his employer directly and ask for the reasons why and see whether there is a possible way of working around this issue.
AnApprenticeship - 25-Aug-17 @ 10:11 AM
My Son is now nearly 20 and has done 2 years of a 4 year manufacturing engineering apprentice, he has completed the two years day release and has now gained his level 3. He wants to continue further training by doing the HNC course which is one day a week on a Friday.He has told his Employer he will self fund the cost (£2000) and they agreed to this but said he would not get paid for the Friday (which is only a half day) The next day they said he could not do it, with no valid reason. Where do we Stand? thanks
schofield - 24-Aug-17 @ 9:52 AM
sara - Your Question:
Hi My son has been taken on at a local plumber as an apprentice currently on 2 days per week until the college course stars in sept. When he took the job there was no requirement for a driving license or a car. Since then they have quite unreliable frequently calling up to say he needn't come in as they are away - he doesn't get paid for these absences. It has deteriorated further he is now 17 and passed his driving test and has use of one of my cars he has 1 month driving experience and uses a run around old car. The owner who lives in the same town has had some personal issues and is often not at work and the co- partner lives in 40 miles away between our town and London At 10pm on a sunday night he informs my son he needs to drive to his house by 6am which in a large town 40 miles away along 2 motorways and then they will go to London to work from there. Apart from the issue of fuel reimbursement not being addressed he is a new and inexperienced driver in someone else car which is not insured for business use. I refused to let him have the car have tried to contact the employer to discuss alternative means of him getting there i.e by train my son has also contacted him to say why he didn't drive up and we have had no response. Am I being unreasonable to think this behavior is unacceptable , there is appears to be no consideration, duty of care, or even proper reimbursement. What should I recommend my son to do?

Our Response:
First of all, I suggest your son/you reads his contract of employment. As a rule, an apprenticeship should contain the following components: a minimum of 30 hours per week paid employment (which he should be paid for even if his employer requests he should not come in to work), a knowledge based element, a competence based element, functional skills and a module on employment rights and responsibilities. In the first instance, your son should speak to his employer directly if his contract does not match up to his job description. With regards to transport issues, how did your son overcome issues like this before he passed his test? In situations such as this where it may be taken for granted that your son would get himself to and from work, he would have to try to resolve this situation directly with his employer. If your son feels his contract is not being fulfilled, he can make a complaint via the link here.
AnApprenticeship - 22-Aug-17 @ 10:51 AM
Hi My son has been taken on at a local plumber as an apprentice currently on 2 days per week until the college course stars in sept .When he took the job there was no requirement for a driving license or a car.Since then they have quite unreliable frequently calling up to say he needn't come in as they are away - he doesn't get paid for these absences . It has deteriorated further he is now 17 and passed his driving test and has use of one of my cars he has 1 month driving experience and uses a run around old car.The owner who lives in the same town has had some personal issues and is often not at work and the co- partner lives in 40 miles away between our town and London At 10pm on a sunday night he informs my son heneeds to drive to his houseby 6am whichin a large town 40 miles away along 2 motorwaysand then they will go to London to work from there.Apart from the issue of fuel reimbursement not being addressed he is a new and inexperienced driver in someone elsecar which is not insured for business use.I refused to let him have the car have tried to contact the employer to discuss alternative means of him getting there i.eby train my son has also contacted him to say why he didn't drive up and we have had no response .Am i being unreasonable to think this behavior is unacceptable , there is appears to be no consideration, duty of care, or even proper reimbursement. What should I recommendmy son to do?
sara - 21-Aug-17 @ 2:06 PM
We are considering taking on two apprentices to work on a production line. Are there any restrictions on working shift hours? (05:45 to 14:15 and 13:45 to 22:15)
Gra - 11-Aug-17 @ 3:07 PM
Hi, Im an apprentice working for NHS and what im concerned about is that I'm working 5 days a weeks for 7.5 hours and get 30mins break only. In our contratc it says fix wage 10,000 but in our payslip we get paid 833 per month in which you calculate that it does not add up to 10,000. We get study day once a month which is not enough.
Kim - 9-Aug-17 @ 5:50 AM
@sammy - It must do because she would not be expected to work seven days per week. So it must be that she works five days (including Saturday) and goes to college one day in the week.
ADJ - 24-Jul-17 @ 2:16 PM
16 year old daughter wants hairdressing apprenticeship been told has to work 48 hours per week with 1 day off does this include training at academy as well
sammy - 22-Jul-17 @ 5:36 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Nic
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    My 16 year old son has passed his entrance exam for his apprenticeship and is due to start college in September he has been…
    17 October 2017
  • Nic
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    My 16 year old son has passed his entrance exam for his apprenticeship and is due to start college in September he has been…
    17 October 2017
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Can I Sack an Apprentice?
    Steph - Your Question:Hi there,I have been informed by my sons tutor that his boss has cancelled my sons apprenticeship as a sous chef…
    17 October 2017
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    Mei - Your Question:Hi I am 22 and I been in a apprenticeship before from a different apprenticeship provider. I finished my level 2,…
    17 October 2017
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    Runder - Your Question:My son has just started an apprenticeship 3 weeks ago and has been told that he needs to do a month in hand ,…
    16 October 2017
  • Mei
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    Hi I am 22 and i been in a apprenticeship before from a different apprenticeship provider... i finished my level 2, however i moved…
    16 October 2017
  • Runder
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    My son has just started an apprenticeship 3 weeks ago and has been told that he needs to do a month in hand , is it right that he…
    15 October 2017
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Can I Sack an Apprentice?
    Rics - Your Question:My sister has been dismissed from her apprenticeship after only working there for 5 days. The reasons they gave…
    13 October 2017
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Can I Sack an Apprentice?
    JLaw - Your Question:Hi my daughter has been dismissed from her apprenticeship at a hair salon. She has been there since may last…
    13 October 2017
  • Steph
    Re: Can I Sack an Apprentice?
    Hi there, I have been informed by my sons tutor that his boss has cancelled my sons apprenticeship as a sous chef ages ago, as he…
    13 October 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the AnApprenticeship website. Please read our Disclaimer.