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Your Rights as an Apprentice

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 17 Oct 2017 | 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, 2017 for age under 19 or aged 19 or over but in the first year of their apprenticeship is £3.40 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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My 16 year old son has passed his entrance exam for his apprenticeship and is due to start college in September he has been working as a labourer since September for the company who accepted him as an apprentice. He failed his cibt test and was put in for a resit but put in for the wrong test( for qualified plumbers) he obviously failed. He has been told that he has one more chance tomorrow and if not he is sacked. This seems very unfair he has never worked on a construction side before and has not actually started his college apprenticeship.
Nic - 17-Oct-17 @ 9:56 PM
My 16 year old son has passed his entrance exam for his apprenticeship and is due to start college in September he has been working as a labourer since September. He failed his cibt test and was put in for a resit but put in for the wrong test( for qualified plumbers) he obviously failed. He has been told that he has one more chance tomorrow and if not he is sacked. This seems very unfair he has never worked on a construction side before and has not actually started his college apprenticeship.
Nic - 17-Oct-17 @ 9:48 PM
abcde12679641 - Your Question:
I started an apprenticeship a couple months ago, and when I recieved my second payment, over £300 was deducted without me knowing anything about it. I phone up my area manager the next morning and he sounded shocked this happened and said he would look into it for me. Several hours passed and he phoned back telling me that they had overpaid me the previous month and therefore took money off this months payment to cover that. Are they allowed to do this? I feel as if I have been robbed and have been working for pretty much free this past month.

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which will explain further.
AnApprenticeship - 12-Oct-17 @ 1:44 PM
I started an apprenticeship a couple months ago, and when i recieved my second payment, over £300 was deducted without me knowing anything about it. I phone up my area manager the next morning and he sounded shocked this happened and said he would look into it for me. Several hours passed and he phoned back telling me that they had overpaid me the previous month and therefore took money off this months payment to cover that. Are they allowed to do this? I feel as if i have been robbed and have been working for pretty much free this past month.
abcde12679641 - 11-Oct-17 @ 11:13 PM
TWalker - Your Question:
I have been working in a print apprenticeship for a year and 2 months now and after asking and asking I still haven't been given any training. Im not sure what to do now my pay has gone up once but only because I turn 19 recently.

Our Response:
You would need to ask your employer again and if you are still not satisfied, you can raise a grievance, please see link here .
AnApprenticeship - 10-Oct-17 @ 11:36 AM
I have been working in a print apprenticeship for a year and 2 months now and after asking and asking I still haven't been given any training. Im not sure what to do now my pay has gone up once but only because i turn 19 recently.
TWalker - 9-Oct-17 @ 3:35 PM
Reece- Your Question:
I'm currently over halfway through my third year in a welding apprenticeship. Me and another apprentice are behind on training and we have been asking for half a year to do the training but our line manager has said we'll do it when we're quiet. The workshop has been quiet 5 times this year and instead of training for our apprenticeship we get made to clean up workshops and get everything looking presentable for clients coming in. I have informed the hr team and the training centre I sat my level 2 and am currently sitting my level 3 with but they keep telling me it's nothing to do with them. I have recordings of my line manager saying 3 weeks ago that we are on training for our 6gr and we still haven't heard anything else about it.

Our Response:
If you cannot resolve this situation directly with your employer, then you can complain, please see link here.
AnApprenticeship - 6-Oct-17 @ 3:10 PM
Seeking - Your Question:
Seeking some advice. My brother in law is currently on an apprenticeship and the boss keeps buying tools on his behalf and then taking the money out of his wage each month. This has ended up with him being left with about £10 after all deductions. Is this allowed? Seems very unfair to me? For instance he decided that a £400 drill was a good deal so bought them for his apprentices even though they already had a fully functional drill.Recently he also failed an exam, now the boss is asking for the full cost of the exam back. Is the boss following the correct guidelines? Any advice would be appreciated.

Our Response:
With regards to the failure of the exam, your brother-in-law would have to read the terms and conditions of his employment contract to see what it specifies regarding repayment of training money in particular circumstances. Also, he may wish to see under the terms of his contract whether tools are recommended and whether the apprentice should have to pay and how. However, if his employer is forcing the apprentices to buy tools where no clause in the apprentice contract exists and without prior consent, then your brother-in-law should either speak with his employer directly in a bid to resolve the issue, and/or if the situation remains unresolved complain directly to his apprentice provider via the link here .
AnApprenticeship - 6-Oct-17 @ 12:48 PM
Smithyboy - Your Question:
Hi, i've been working at my work for a year now under a apprenticeship and it's finished off and I'm now entitled to national minimum wage but my work might be dismissing me as they don't want to pay me that wage and getting another apprentice in to pay them the apprentice rate , is that unfair dismissal?

Our Response:
Much depends whether yoru apprenticeship contract has ended. If it has, then your employer is not obliged to keep you on and it is within its rights to let you go.
AnApprenticeship - 6-Oct-17 @ 11:56 AM
Silver- Your Question:
Hi My daughter is doing an Apprentiship at a dentist as a dental nurse,She works 7.45am to 6pm monday to Thursday And Fridays 7.45 to 5pmI think it's very long hours,But can you please advise, she is 18 years old. Thank you.

Our Response:
You would have to read the terms and conditions of your daughter's employment contract to find out the hours she has agreed to work. As a rule apprentices usually work a maximum of 40 hours per week, please see link here . You may also wish to speak to her apprenticeship provider.
AnApprenticeship - 5-Oct-17 @ 2:56 PM
Hi My daughter is doing an Apprentiship at a dentist as a dental nurse, She works 7.45am to 6pm monday to Thursday And Fridays 7.45 to 5pm I think it's very long hours, But can you please advise, she is 18 years old. Thank you.
Silver - 4-Oct-17 @ 6:44 PM
Hi, i've been working at my work for a year now under a apprenticeship and it's finished off and i'm now entitled to national minimum wage but my work might be dismissing me as they don't want to pay me that wage and getting another apprentice in to pay them the apprentice rate , is that unfair dismissal?
Smithyboy - 3-Oct-17 @ 10:42 PM
Seeking some advice. My brother in law is currently on an apprenticeship and the boss keeps buying tools on his behalf and then taking the money out of his wage each month. This has ended up with him being left with about £10 after all deductions. Is this allowed? Seems very unfair to me? For instance he decided that a £400 drill was a good deal so bought them for his apprentices even though they already had a fully functional drill. Recently he also failed an exam, now the boss is asking for the full cost of the exam back. Is the boss following the correct guidelines? Any advice would be appreciated.
Seeking - 3-Oct-17 @ 8:58 PM
I'm currently over halfway through my third year in a welding apprenticeship. Me and another apprentice are behind on training and we have been asking for half a year to do the training but our line manager has said we'll do it when we're quiet. The workshop has been quiet 5 times this year and instead of training for our apprenticeship we get made to clean up workshops and get everything looking presentable for clients coming in. I have informed the hr team and the training centre I sat my level 2 and am currently sitting my level 3 with but they keep telling me it's nothing to do with them. I have recordings of my line manager saying 3 weeks ago that we are on training for our 6gr and we still haven't heard anything else about it.
Reece - 3-Oct-17 @ 10:48 AM
Rhia- Your Question:
Hi I'm currently working in a nursery setting as a apprenticeship. I have no contract only get a 45 minute dinner at 11 when I start work at 8-6. My hours are all over the place changing every week. I've worked a 56 hour week ? Is this legal without a contract ?

Our Response:
If you are an apprentice, it is a legal requirement for you to have an employment contract/ statement of terms . The issue of full terms and conditions should be laid out in writing within two months of an employee starting work. As specified in the article, 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. Talking to your employer directly should help clarify the matter.
AnApprenticeship - 3-Oct-17 @ 10:00 AM
PaigeC- Your Question:
My partner completed a 4 year plumbing apprenticeship. This was due to be completed in September he was then told that he was finished in June, they then extended this to the end of august. He completed and passed all his qualifications. They have now extended it to November and there are talks of it getting extended again. Is this fair he has completed all qualifications therefore he isn't learning anything new? He is also working by himself doing the works of a qualified plumber, always doing call out. Is this just cheap labour?

Our Response:
If your partner has finished his apprenticeship contract and the company is still paying him an apprentice wage, he may be able to claim back pay to national minimum wage rates. Your partner may wish to give ACAS a call to explore whether he has any rights.
AnApprenticeship - 2-Oct-17 @ 2:03 PM
Hi I'm currently working in a nursery setting as a apprenticeship. I have no contract only get a 45 minute dinner at 11 when I start work at 8-6. My hours are all over the place changing every week. I've worked a 56 hour week ? Is this legal without a contract ?
Rhia - 2-Oct-17 @ 7:41 AM
My partner completed a 4 year plumbing apprenticeship. This was due to be completed in September he was then told that he was finished in June, they then extended this to the end of august. He completed and passed all his qualifications. They have now extended it to November and there are talks of it getting extended again. Is this fair he has completed all qualifications therefore he isn't learning anything new? He is also working by himself doing the works of a qualified plumber, always doing call out. Is this just cheap labour?
PaigeC - 30-Sep-17 @ 7:20 AM
My stepson has an apprenticeship with his father. His father refuses to give him a contract of employment, does not pay on time and has recently informed him he shall be paid on a 6 week month! Also my stepson works from 8 till 11 most days as his father has to be finished in time for the pub opening. My stepson feels an obligation because it’s his father but I know this is wrong. Can you shed any light on this situation please.
Biddy - 26-Sep-17 @ 6:33 PM
Cookie - Your Question:
I have been with my apprenticeship people for nearly 12 months. My boss regularly text ,emails me saying no work today. Do I get paid for it no. I am never paid on time and I get fed up of asking for my money. I am behind with my board and I'm only thankful that my grandparents help me with my bus fares.what can I do.

Our Response:
You would need to read the terms and conditions of your employment contract to find this out. However, apprentices are usually expected to work for at least 30 hours per week. You may also wish to speak to your apprentice provider to complain if you are not earning any money or being paid on time. Please also see link here.
AnApprenticeship - 26-Sep-17 @ 2:44 PM
Coco - Your Question:
Just need some advice.My partner was on an apprenticeship which ended in may/June so he is no longer on that. After he came off that they gave him a new contract as he had a proper job there (if that makes sense) He's now got a new job and handed his notice in at his current work. But they have taken a massive sum out of his wages saying it's covered the cost off the apprenticeship he was on.Do you have to pay back the apprenticeship fee when you've completed it and no longer on it?

Our Response:
Once the apprenticeship contract ends, then he should not have to pay his fees back if he has stuck to the terms of the contract. You would have to read the terms of his new contract in order to see what your son has agreed to. However, once reading his contract and his former contract, in this case it would be worth giving ACAS a call in order to explore his rights.
AnApprenticeship - 25-Sep-17 @ 12:15 PM
Just need some advice. My partner was on an apprenticeship which ended in may/June so he is no longer on that. After he came off that they gave him a new contract as he had a proper job there (if that makes sense) He's now got a new job and handed his notice in at his current work. But they have taken a massive sum out of his wages saying it's covered the cost off the apprenticeship he was on. Do you have to pay back the apprenticeship fee when you've completed it and no longer on it?
Coco - 24-Sep-17 @ 4:57 PM
I have been with my apprenticeship people for nearly 12 months. My boss regularly text ,emails me saying no work today. Do I get paid for it no.... I am never paid on time and I get fed up of asking for my money. I am behind with my board and I'm only thankful that my grandparents help me with my bus fares.what can I do.
Cookie - 23-Sep-17 @ 6:17 PM
@LisaLisa - your son shouldn't be working over 45 hours per week and yes, he should be paid overtime at the national minimum wage for his age. Ring Acas, they'll help.
Gel - 22-Sep-17 @ 12:19 PM
@Mumzz - if she's with a new company then she will be classed as being in the first year of her apprenticeship with that particular company. Therefore, she will not be paid the national minimum wage for her age until she goes into her second year.
Gel - 22-Sep-17 @ 11:42 AM
After the first twelve months as a apprentice above the age of 21 should my wage go Up to minimum wage?
Lg40 - 22-Sep-17 @ 9:38 AM
My daughter completed 2 years as an apprentice and has moved companies, is it right that she still earns the lower rate even though she is now 19 and although at a different company, is on the 3rd year of her apprenticeship?
Mumzz - 21-Sep-17 @ 3:26 PM
Hello, My son is working on a farm as part of his agricultural apprenticeship.He is at college one day a week and currently working 5 days a week.His working hours (excluding college) averages out at 57 hours per week.He gets paid £4 per hour, is he due overtime above the 40 hours?I realise he is working more than is recommended but this might be different under agriculture?Thank you.
LisaLisa - 19-Sep-17 @ 7:41 AM
LL11 - Your Question:
I have just completed my 1 year SVQ Level 3 business admin apprenticeship, I completed this a month ago and informed my work it was all complete and all my course work was sent away. My work have still not taken me in to talk to me about my next steps or to review my salary. Is it even legal to still be paying your apprentice their apprentice wage that was agreed when I started working there over a year ago when 1. I have now completed my first year and 2 I have completed my apprenticeship and all of my course work was sent away over a month ago.

Our Response:
You would have to speak to your employer directly regarding this. You may also wish to read the terms and conditions of your employment contract before doing so, so you know for sure when your contract officially ends.
AnApprenticeship - 18-Sep-17 @ 10:23 AM
James- Your Question:
Q1- I've recently started an apprenticeship I'm 18 how many hours a week am I aloud to work?Q2- DO yo get paid for a break and lunch?Q3- Please tell me a little bit about overtime rate as I was offer a really little for 3 hours extra work.Q4- I work 45 hours a week and I'm 18 it's my first year apprenticeship, how much should I be earning minimum.

Our Response:
Usually apprentices over-18 work between 30-48 hours per week. The national minimum wage for apprentices is £3.50 per hour. Your other questions will be contained within the terms and conditions of your employment contract, as every employer offers variable terms. If you work overtime, this should be paid at or above the standard national minimum wage for your age.
AnApprenticeship - 15-Sep-17 @ 12:41 PM
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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…
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