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Your Rights as an Apprentice

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 12 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Apprentice Apprenticeship Employee

When you start an apprenticeship your employer essentially takes you on as an employee. This means that you have the same employee rights as any one else and that your employer cannot exploit you.

Although you will still be training during your apprenticeship scheme, you will receive a regular wage and still be entitled to holidays, fair working hours and rest breaks.

Working Hours

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.

You are also entitled to at least one 20 minute break for every six hours that you work and at least 11 hours off between shifts. This the law and unless you opt out, you have the right to refuse to work any more than this.

Holiday Entitlement

As an apprentice you will be entitled to at least one and a half days’ paid holiday for every month of your training - you will also get bank holidays. Check your contract of employment to see what you have been given. You also have the right to at least 24 hours free from work in an week or 48 hours free in two weeks. This increases to 48 hours free from work in a week if you under 18.

Wages

Even though you are on an apprenticeship scheme you are treated as an employee and therefore will be paid a regular wage. This money will be paid weekly or monthly to you and you have to pay tax and national insurance on your earnings.

The National Minimum Wage for apprentices until April, 2018 for age under 19 or aged 19 or over but in the first year of their apprenticeship is £3.70 per hour. Apprentices over the age of 19 and who have completed one year of their Apprenticeship are entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage applicable to their age. These rates apply to time working, plus time spent training that is part of the Apprenticeship.

Employers are free to pay above the new wage and many do so, but employers must ensure that they are paying their apprentices at least the minimum wage.

If an apprentice is on a higher wage, the employer must continue to pay that for the remainder of the training or until the apprentice becomes eligible for the full national minimum wage.

Whatever you agree on, make sure that you have it in writing and they don’t try to take any illegal deductions.

Fair Treatment

As an apprentice or as an employee, you have the right to be treated fairly in all aspects of your work. This means that as well as being paid regularly, being given holiday and not being made to work too many hours, you should not face any discrimination or danger.

Your rights include adequate health and safety training and prevention. They also include being able to work happily without being discriminated against for your race, religion, age or gender. If you think this is happening then you must report it.

When you are taking part in an apprenticeship scheme you should be given the same employee rights as other members of staff. These include fair working hours and rest breaks, as well as being given your full holiday entitlement.

You should also not face any other unfair treatment such as discrimination or poor health and safety. If you think your employer is breaching any of your rights then you must speak up and report them. Now, investigate health and safety for apprentices here.

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[Add a Comment]
srh - Your Question:
My daughter has completed her course in 9 months instead of 2 years (with distinctions) Can she move onto the next level. The apprenticeship contract is for 2 yrs. She has just turned 24 last week. The apprenticeship provider she was recruited through & who runs the training is saying she can move to Level 4 but she will have to pay £3,000 for the course.

Our Response:
Your daughter would have to speak directly with her employer/apprenticeship provider, as they would have their individual terms.
AnApprenticeship - 13-Jul-18 @ 12:16 PM
My daughter has completed her course in 9 months instead of 2 years (with distinctions) Can she move onto the next level.The apprenticeship contract is for 2 yrs.She has just turned 24 last week. The apprenticeship provider she was recruited through & who runs the training is saying she can move to Level 4 but she will have to pay £3,000 for the course.
srh - 12-Jul-18 @ 7:37 PM
Adrian - Your Question:
I have started An apprenticeship on 17th of july year ago, When should I get a pay raise as I'm 19 and going back to college in September as This year has finished.

Our Response:
You can see more via the link here , which should help answer your question.
AnApprenticeship - 12-Jul-18 @ 2:57 PM
Sparks - Your Question:
My boss owes me a month apprentice wage. How to I get it?

Our Response:
If your employer has not paid you and you have attempted to resolve the matter informally, you can raise a grievance. Please see link here . If your employer still refuses to pay for work you have done, then taking the matter to the small claims court would be an option.
AnApprenticeship - 12-Jul-18 @ 1:55 PM
salls - Your Question:
I am 19. Should my employer pay me for rest breaks and lunch breaks. Also my contract states 40 hours per week but I'm only paid for 36 hours (deductions for lunch/rest breaks). Is this correct?

Our Response:
With regards to deductions, if your contract states you are not paid for lunchbreaks then your employer doesn't have to pay you. It is at an employer's discretion whether lunch breaks are paid or not. Mostly, these days they are usually unpaid.
AnApprenticeship - 12-Jul-18 @ 1:52 PM
I havestarted An apprenticeship on 17th of july year ago, When should I get a pay raise as I'm 19 and going back to college in September as This year has finished.
Adrian - 11-Jul-18 @ 11:20 PM
I am 19. Should my employer pay me for rest breaks and lunch breaks. Also my contract states 40 hours per week but I'm only paid for 36 hours (deductions for lunch/rest breaks). Is this correct?
salls - 10-Jul-18 @ 2:23 PM
My boss owes me a month apprentice wage.How to I get it?
Sparks - 10-Jul-18 @ 1:24 PM
SZb - Your Question:
Iv finished my apprenticeship and now fully qualified. Does my employer have the right to change my hours or not employee me now I’m qualified.

Our Response:
Your employer is under no obligation to employ you once your apprenticeship contract has ended. If your employer does decide to keep you on, then a new contract would be drawn up which may mean a change in working hours.
AnApprenticeship - 10-Jul-18 @ 12:41 PM
Iv finished my apprenticeship and now fully qualified. Does my employer have the right to change my hours or not employee me now I’m qualified.
SZb - 10-Jul-18 @ 1:18 AM
Smurf - Your Question:
My daughter is on an apprenticeship and has been signed off sick. Her employment have said they don’t have to pay her sick pay ????

Our Response:
Your daughter would have to read the terms and conditions of her employment contract and the link here, which will tell you all you need to know.
AnApprenticeship - 9-Jul-18 @ 2:49 PM
@Sweetpea it's likely your daughter would have still be in a probationary period. An employer can let someone go if they have been employerd for less than two years without any repercussions of unfair dismissal.
Dad - 9-Jul-18 @ 2:04 PM
@OFamily - I didn't get much study time, I got one day a week day release at college and then I had to study at home in the evenings. I think each employer is different. Your contract should spell it out.
Gib - 9-Jul-18 @ 9:58 AM
How does the entitlement to 24 hours for study work? Can the employer just spread it out over a week and get you to study at place of work during quiet times?
OFamily - 8-Jul-18 @ 10:00 AM
My daughter has been working in a child care apprenticeship since January. The lady she worked for has her own self employed business. My daughter has never seen a contract and was told as her employee was self employed then she wasn’t entitled to holiday pay. Last week she had been told by drs to rest so unable to work, At the end of the week she received a letter through the door advising she was not required to work anymore with immediate effect. A few reasons were given, but I believe there are two sides to every story, Can her employer treat her like this, she has sent texts asking to sit and talk it through to see if they could move forward and these are being ignored. Kind regards and thank you in advance for any advice.
Sweetpea - 6-Jul-18 @ 11:31 PM
My friend has started an apprenticeship in a school.The contract states they will be working 52.14 weeks per year, doing 37 hours per week.No mention of holiday is made therefore meaning they will have to work when the school is closed.Will this mean they may be the only person in the school during the 6 week holiday as this is not the same as the other employees.Surely this cannot be correct.
Jazza - 6-Jul-18 @ 11:22 PM
My daughter is on an apprenticeship and has been signed off sick . Her employment have said they don’t have to pay her sick pay ????
Smurf - 6-Jul-18 @ 7:05 PM
yvonne - Your Question:
My daughter started her apprenticeship in 2016 on a 2 yr course. She gets paid 3.30 ph the college says she should have had a pay rise in her second yr when she turned 18 is this right the employer says she has to 19 and in her second yrwho is right

Our Response:
Your daughter's employer is correct. Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both are aged 19 or over and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship, please see the link here .
AnApprenticeship - 6-Jul-18 @ 12:55 PM
Hello. I have been an apprentice with a company since last November and have asked for my p45 and they have told me there isn’t one. I never had a contract other that that provided by college and have just been made aware that no tax has been paid since I joined! Will this be enough to stand up in court if it comes to this? I’m really worried as it amounts to over two thousand pounds which I simply can’t afford. Any help much appreciated
Jimmy - 5-Jul-18 @ 4:55 PM
my daughter started her apprenticeship in 2016 on a 2 yr course. She gets paid 3.30 phthe college says she should have had a pay rise in her second yr when she turned 18 is this right the employer says she has to 19 and in her second yr who is right
yvonne - 5-Jul-18 @ 1:18 PM
I have been taken on as an apprenticeship in accounts ...but I pay for my college course with help with funding from the college. My employer doesn't pay me for day I'm in college so wondering if it's wrong? Also can I find out if my employer is getting funding for me? I overheard her with a client telling him they took me on off their own back and don't receive funding. I had no idea about the funding till then. Just curious that's all. Any help with this im greatful for.
Banol - 5-Jul-18 @ 1:30 AM
Hi my daughter is 17 and on an apprenticeship where she regularly works long hours. I worked it out over 17 weeks and she is doing at least 38 hours a week. Does her half day at college count as working hours as she is not paid for this and after returning from college is expected to work until around 8pm? Thanks.
Kaz - 3-Jul-18 @ 8:30 PM
RS - Your Question:
Hi I know an employer has taken on 3 apprentices, my partner is one of them. When I speak to them, they tell me they are treated unfairly. Meaning when my partner asks for holidays off the employer never remembers them but when the other two ask they get them straight away. They are older than my partner by 2/3 years. My partner seems to get a lot of grief when he accidentally drops something but the other two don’t. He has tried to speak to his employer but they don’t seem to be listening to him. Is there any other way he can talk to someone about the way he is treated without moving to another apprenticeship. Thank you

Our Response:
If you’re a worker and you’ve tried solving a problem or concern informally by talking to your manager but you’re not satisfied, you can make a formal grievance complaint in writing, please see link here .
AnApprenticeship - 2-Jul-18 @ 12:01 PM
Hi I know an employer has taken on 3 apprentices, my partner is one of them. When I speak to them, they tell me they are treated unfairly. Meaning when my partner asks for holidays off the employer never remembers them but when the other two ask they get them straight away. They are older than my partner by 2/3 years. My partner seems to get a lot of grief when he accidentally drops something but the other two don’t. He has tried to speak to his employer but they don’t seem to be listening to him. Is there any other way he can talk to someone about the way he is treated without moving to another apprenticeship. Thank you
RS - 30-Jun-18 @ 3:56 PM
Jakeym98 - Your Question:
Hi my 3 year apprenticeship is coming to end and I’m due to finish next month as. Need a driving license for the job but I’ve had no notice or nothing does the employer have to give me notice before they let me go thanks

Our Response:
Your employer doesn't have to give you official notice if the time of your contract ends at a specific time/date.
AnApprenticeship - 29-Jun-18 @ 11:46 AM
Hi my 3 year apprenticeship is coming to end and I’m due to finish next month as. Need a driving license for the job but I’ve had no notice or nothing does the employer have to give me notice before they let me go thanks
Jakeym98 - 28-Jun-18 @ 6:26 PM
In in the final year of my level 2 apprenticeship and have 1 week to complete my college work in order to gain my qualification. However work will not let me have this time off . This will result in me failing my course and not getting the necessary qualification. I have never had a written or verbal contract from my employer so I don't know my rights . Is there anything I can do . Fearing if I just go to college I will lose my job .
smarty - 26-Jun-18 @ 6:16 PM
My friend is an apprentice working at a nursery attached to an institution towards level 2 childcare. My employer has already said they will not take her on past level 3 but they won't give her the 1 day a week paid for study/training. It was the institution that took her on. What are your rights to that time and who should she talk to because the nursery manager is difficult and overbearing?
Al - 21-Jun-18 @ 8:20 PM
Shazza - Your Question:
My son has just turned 18 and in september has completed his first year as an electical apprenticeship does his wage go up now or in sept

Our Response:
Your son would have to read the terms and conditions of his employment contract to find out if his wage will go up. However, as a rule, unless your so is age 19 and in his second year of his apprenticeship his wage will stay the same. Please see link here .
AnApprenticeship - 21-Jun-18 @ 2:58 PM
Bells- Your Question:
I have been In my apprenticeship for now for 12 months. I’m 19 should my wage go up to the national minimum even thought I haven’t finished my level one qualification.

Our Response:
Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both:are aged 19 or over and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship. Please see link here.
AnApprenticeship - 21-Jun-18 @ 2:10 PM
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