Home > Employment Conditions > Your Rights as an Apprentice

Your Rights as an Apprentice

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 25 May 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I am doing a level 2 health and social care apprenticeship, and have currently had a week off due to mental health struggles, I have got a sick note from my doctor for 2 weeks but my employer says that I am not entitled to sick pay because I don’t pay National insurance, I am on a minimum of £120 per week. Am I entitled? I feel like I’m being taken advantage of
Abbiekate - 25-May-18 @ 3:27 PM
I am currently working on my apprenticeship and am 13 months in and now have been told that I have to do study leave what is this and do I still get paid with not being in work ? Thanks
Lucy - 24-May-18 @ 7:43 PM
Lily - Your Question:
My friends daughter is an apprentice but currently off sick with mental health issues. She has not been in work since February but her apprenticeship is due to finish in August. I know her employer and she doesn't want to keep her on after August as that is when her contract ends.She won't be able to complete her programme but the employer doesn't know if she wants to as other than the sick notes, she hasn't been in touch. She is receiving sick pay etc.Can the employer let her go in August?

Our Response:
Once the contract ends, your daughter's employer is not obligated to renew the contract.
AnApprenticeship - 24-May-18 @ 10:29 AM
My friends daughter is an apprentice but currently off sick with mental health issues. She has not been in work since February but her apprenticeship is due to finish in August. I know her employer and she doesn't want to keep her on after August as that is when her contract ends. She won't be able to complete her programme but the employer doesn't know if she wants to as other than the sick notes, she hasn't been in touch. She is receiving sick pay etc. Can the employer let her go in August?
Lily - 23-May-18 @ 12:04 PM
LL - Your Question:
I’m 4 months into my apprenticeship I was attacked by a service user at work and have been signed off, I personally don’t feel safe going back as nothing has been put in place, my regional trainer also hasn’t been helpful. I feel like quitting the apprenticeship programme all together, how would I go about doing so?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You would have to give your notice in, as to the terms of your contract.
AnApprenticeship - 22-May-18 @ 2:56 PM
I’m 4 months into my apprenticeship I was attacked by a service user at work and have been signed off, I personally don’t feel safe going back as nothing has been put in place, my regional trainer also hasn’t been helpful. I feel like quitting the apprenticeship programme all together, how would I go about doing so?
LL - 22-May-18 @ 1:49 PM
JC - Your Question:
Hi, I am currently doing an level 2 apprenticeship in business admin. I really don't like it and I am wanting to leave. I've been here for 6 weeks now so I'm just wondering what notice period I need to give as it doesn't say anything about this in my contract? Also I have been off sick once and I was told that I wouldn't be paid can my boss do this? Furthermore how much notice would I need to give for a day off work we would be apart of my holiday paid days thank you?

Our Response:
As you are still in your probationary period, you may have to give one week's notice, you would have to discuss this with your employer directly if it is not in your contract (which ordinarily it should be).You can also see more via the link here, which will explain more regarding sick pay. Sick pay eligibility should also be contained in your contract.
AnApprenticeship - 22-May-18 @ 11:15 AM
Hi, I am currently doing an level 2 apprenticeship in business admin. I really don't like it and I am wanting to leave. I've been here for 6 weeks now so I'm just wondering what notice period I need to give as it doesn't say anything about this in my contract? Also I have been off sick once and I was told that I wouldn't be paid can my boss do this? Furthermore how much notice would I need to give for a day off work we would be apart of my holiday paid days thank you?
JC - 21-May-18 @ 3:52 PM
Hi I've recently started an apprenticeship with a small company as an admin. The college I'm with says that I should get at least 32 hrs of practical (on job training) and then a day of college. However this can't happen as the company only open during weekdays 9-4. Would that affect me getting my qualifications?
Gary - 19-May-18 @ 11:30 PM
Victoria - Your Question:
Hi I am doing an apprenticeship at the age of 27 in admin currently on a full working week of 40ty hours. I noticed on my pay slip I'm getting 5.56 an hour. I am still quite happy with my wage but I read online I should be on minimum wage for an apprenticeship being over 25. Is this true or should I be on £5.56 an hour.

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 - 15-May-18 @ 12:44 PM
Hi I am doing an apprenticeship at the age of 27 in admin currently on a full working week of 40ty hours. I noticed on my pay slip I'm getting 5.56 an hour. I am still quite happy with my wage but I read online I should be on minimum wage for an apprenticeship being over 25. Is this true or should I be on £5.56 an hour.
Victoria - 14-May-18 @ 7:26 PM
Apprentice224 - Your Question:
I am an apprentice and I work 40 hours a week but recently have been told I’ll be working bank holiday Mondays on top of this without pay, I have checked in my contract that I am intitiled to 20 days including bank holidays. Does this mean I should be paid? And should I get paid extra as it will be going over 40 hours

Our Response:
You should be paid, if your contract says this. Your employer cannot expect you to work the bank holiday unpaid and you can refuse. You may wish to speak to your employer directly regarding this matter.
AnApprenticeship - 14-May-18 @ 11:31 AM
I am an apprentice and I work 40 hours a week but recently have been told I’ll be working bank holiday Mondays on top of this without pay, I have checked in my contract that I am intitiled to 20 days including bank holidays. Does this mean I should be paid? And should I get paid extra as it will be going over 40 hours
Apprentice224 - 13-May-18 @ 5:33 PM
my son has completed nearly two years of a three year apprenticeship. He only received his contact 18 months into this apprenticeship.Before he received this detailing misconduct procedures he was apparently given two formal verbal warnings, but had no written confirmation of these detailing date and reason for verbal. He was then given a final written warning for apparent gross misconduct and then sacked. Can his employer legally do this and should he have had his contract from start of apprenticeship.not 18 months into it?
dj - 9-May-18 @ 10:55 PM
i started my two year apprenticeship june 2017, im currently on apprenticewage of £3 odd an hour, after june now will i go up to the national minimum wage? or will i continue till i finish my level one although it would have passed 12 months?
na - 6-May-18 @ 4:05 PM
My daughter is 8 months into her hairdressing apprenticeship but had worked p/t at the salon for 6 months whilst still at school. She has now been told that they no longer want to use the local college she has been attending as it is taking her outnof salon for and extra half a day now so it is not viable for the salon owner. She has been told that she either travels by train approx An hour journey there and an hour back at her own cost once a week or 1 week I. Every five or she will have to leave. Has she any rights. Thank you
Louie - 5-May-18 @ 12:37 PM
Stressedout - Your Question:
Hi, my daughter has an apprenticeship where I work and is not being treated fairly. With our terms and conditions, we are allowed time to attend appointments, interviews etc and can build toil to accrue time. My daughter has been told she is not entitled to any of this as she is not an actual employee. My understanding is that she is employed under the same terms and conditions? She has had a couple of interviews, for full time work, that she has had to cancel as they wouldn't let her leave. Is this right?

Our Response:
It would still depend upon the terms and conditions of your daughter's contract and what she has agreed to when signing. The terms of a contract can be different for different employees. Being treated fairly and equal to other employees, means in areas such as: the working time directive (breaks etc), pay, health and safety, holiday entitlement, protection from discrimination and the right to join a trade union. If your daughter has no TOIL clause written into her contract, then there is little she can do here.
AnApprenticeship - 4-May-18 @ 10:24 AM
James - Your Question:
Hi I have finished my 3year apprenticeship early within the first two years. Can my employer continue to keep me as an apprentice for another year even though I do not attend college anymore or any other training? I am also only cotracted to 50% production in my 3rd year

Our Response:
You would need to speak to your employer directly about changing your contract to fit in with the fact your apprenticeship has finished.
AnApprenticeship - 4-May-18 @ 10:05 AM
Hi i have finished my 3year apprenticeship early within the first two years. Can my employer continue to keep me as an apprentice for another year even though i do not attend college anymore or any other training? I am also only cotracted to 50% production in my 3rd year
James - 3-May-18 @ 10:25 AM
Hi, my daughter has an apprenticeship where I work and is not being treated fairly. With our terms and conditions, we are allowed time to attend appointments, interviews etc and can build toil to accrue time. My daughter has been told she is not entitled to any of this as she is not an actual employee. My understanding is that she is employed under the same terms and conditions? She has had a couple of interviews, for full time work, that she has had to cancel as they wouldn't let her leave. Is this right?
Stressedout - 3-May-18 @ 8:07 AM
Hi, i started an apprenticeship november 2016. I have now been made redundant and i'm moving salons. I'm 19 in July and was wondering if my wage will still go up even though i've moved salons? I have finished my first year so i don't see why it shouldn't other than the fact i've obviously moved to a new salon x
Lucylowexx - 2-May-18 @ 6:53 PM
Child10294 - Your Question:
Hi there, I have started an apprenticeship and have been doing it nearly a year now. Recently there hasn’t been as much work for my employer and there for I have not been able to work however I have not been paid anything for this.Am I entitled to any pay? Cheers

Our Response:
You would have to check the terms and conditions of your contract to see what it says. If you are contracted for a certain amount of hours per week, then you should be entitled to back pay if your employer has not been paying you. If you are still in doubt, you may wish to give Acas a call to for advice regarding your rights.
AnApprenticeship - 1-May-18 @ 11:07 AM
Hi there, I have started an apprenticeship and have been doing it nearly a year now. Recently there hasn’t been as much work for my employer and there for I have not been able to work however I have not been paid anything for this. Am I entitled to any pay? Cheers
Child10294 - 30-Apr-18 @ 5:30 PM
Loz - Your Question:
I recently worked 40 hours for an apprenticeship but unfortunately I hated it and the staff were not very pleasant, now that I have left I have not been paid for the time I did do. Can they do this??

Our Response:
You should be paid for the hours you worked unless your contract specifies that this period was unpaid training. If your company does not pay you, you would have recourse to claim this money via the small claims court, please see link here.
AnApprenticeship - 30-Apr-18 @ 3:08 PM
I recently worked 40 hours for an apprenticeship but unfortunately I hated it and the staff were not very pleasant, now that I have left I have not been paid for the time I did do. Can they do this??
Loz - 30-Apr-18 @ 7:17 AM
Hi, my 17 yr old son started a joinery apprenticeship in Oct.He has signed no contacts and received no wage slips and was told he would start college this Sep.On Tue he was sacked. The reason given - everyone at work went on a stag do for a long weekend. My son was given the option to work on his own on the Fri and Mon or take the time off. He went in for 2 half days and was sacked because his boss said he should have stayed all day! Has he any rights, I'm finding this situation disgusting.
Lucky - 29-Apr-18 @ 8:53 PM
@Hairdresser 89 - if you have you passed your qualifications then you need to put the skills you do have into practice through employment and further training. Good luck.
JillNM - 27-Apr-18 @ 3:32 PM
Woody - Your Question:
Hi, I started work at the end of March with the view of being on an apprenticeship. I only enrolled on my apprenticeship 3 days ago. Does this mean that from the time that I started up until I got enrolled on my apprenticeship I receive the full minimum wage rather than the apprenticeship minimum wage?

Our Response:
Much depends upon what the terms and conditions of the contract were when you began your job.
AnApprenticeship - 27-Apr-18 @ 11:52 AM
Shan - Your Question:
Hi, im coming towards the end of my apprenticeship and I have been told I will not be able to progress in my company and urged to apply for other things, I have had a few interviews and some more are being offered but I was just wondering if I have any right to take time off work for these interviews as it is them not taking me on and I feel they might be getting annoyed with me taking the time off for interviews?

Our Response:
You can take time via annual leave or try to make sure the interviews do not clash with your work day. Alternatively, you can ask whether your employer will allow you to attend interviews if you take the leave as unpaid. If your employer is not keeping you on, then they may be flexible to allowing you time out to attend interviews. You would have to negotiate this directly.
AnApprenticeship - 27-Apr-18 @ 10:05 AM
Hi I was in a hair dressing apprentice ship and my boss hasn't train me only in blowdrys repeatedly and that is all. But I'm qualified in college now but I've still not had training in work and only went to college 1 day a week. What are my options
Hairdresser 89 - 26-Apr-18 @ 10:30 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
  • Abbiekate
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    I am doing a level 2 health and social care apprenticeship, and have currently had a week off due to mental health struggles, I…
    25 May 2018
  • Lucy
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    I am currently working on my apprenticeship and am 13 months in and now have been told that I have to do study leave what is this…
    24 May 2018
  • Sam
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    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…
    24 May 2018
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    Lily - Your Question:My friends daughter is an apprentice but currently off sick with mental health issues. She has not been in…
    24 May 2018
  • Lily
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    My friends daughter is an apprentice but currently off sick with mental health issues. She has not been in work since February but…
    23 May 2018
  • Meeka
    Re: Health and Safety for Apprentices
    Hi my daughter started an apprenticeship within the Equine Industry & she's not received a fully break down of her…
    22 May 2018
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    hellou0701 - Your Question:Hello, my son after completing an apprenticeship within the NHS, was then given a 6 month contract for his…
    22 May 2018
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    LL - Your Question:I’m 4 months into my apprenticeship I was attacked by a service user at work and have been signed off, I…
    22 May 2018
  • hellou0701
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    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,…
    22 May 2018
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    JC - Your Question:Hi, I am currently doing an level 2 apprenticeship in business admin. I really don't like it and I am wanting…
    22 May 2018
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.