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Your Rights as an Apprentice

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 14 Dec 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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our company is on the border of England and Wales.but we are in Wales. our local college (england) said they can provide us with training for apprentices,even though we are based in wales. we recruited our first apprentice , the fact he only had 4 miles to travel to college cemented his accepting the position. our apprentice started in september, he went to college on day release, everything was good. then December he was told to leave college as the funding they were hoping for had not materialised, the college have since just handed us over to the welsh college (travelling distance a problem for my apprentice). our apprentice is 16, and has been left high and dry over who pays what. we as an employer are in a situation, he has a employment contract which he signed, and we have a agreement with the college that we both signed. my questions. where do we stand legally? if i cant provide the training, i can therefore no longer employ an apprentice but without the right training i cant offer him a job.
chris - 14-Dec-17 @ 3:13 PM
our company is on the border of England and Wales.but we are in Wales. our local college (england) said they can provide us with training for apprentices,even though we are based in wales. we recruited our first apprentice , the fact he only had 4 miles to travel to college cemented his accepting the position. our apprentice started in september, he went to college on day release, everything was good. then December he was told to leave college as the funding they were hoping for had not materialised, the college have since just handed us over to the welsh college (travelling distance a problem for my apprentice). our apprentice is 16, and has been left high and dry over who pays what. we as an employer are in a situation, he has a employment contract which he signed, and we have a agreement with the college that we both signed. my questions. where do we stand legally? if i cant provide the training, i can therefore no longer employ an apprentice but without the right training i cant offer him a job.
chris - 14-Dec-17 @ 3:11 PM
I’m looking for a company willing to take on a 3rd year apprentice plumber I lost my job due to the company I worked for going bust and any help would be appreciated
Gully - 6-Dec-17 @ 3:53 PM
Ive just completed my qualification and my certificate is set to come in a few weeks, however, my boss has said that i wont recieve a payrise until the certificate arrives, am i entitled to a payrise as of the day i have qualified or do i have to wait for the certificate?
Bobby - 27-Nov-17 @ 9:53 AM
My 17 year old daughter is working 9 hours a day 6 days a week (54hours) as a work based apprentice through a local college. Despite me asking the college apprenticeship coordinator and employer numerous times for an employee contract which states a maximum 40 hours per week, nothing is forthcoming. We have no idea about holidays and she is on the rota to work Xmas day, Boxing Day, NY day etc. When she asked for NY eve afternoon off for a beauty appointment the employer said it was not a valid reason for annual leave! My question is where do I now take this, I know our rights but no one is listening. I feel like pulling her out of there but work is hard to find in our area of Wales - and the employer knows this.
MrsM - 23-Nov-17 @ 8:06 AM
my son started and it apprenticeship with a large company 3 months ago and has had 4 weeks training with an outside provider so far, but the other 9 weeks being based in the office he has received very little support from his line manager who is very busy and often not around and he has been given no actual work to do since he started,he has been given internet video tutorials to watch but no actual work or projects to do he is very very bored and is thinking of quitting , should the company be providing him with more support.
pam - 22-Nov-17 @ 6:08 PM
My son has recently been on a seven week trial period at a primary school in Liverpool for a sports assistant apprenticeship. He arrived at 8.30 and finished at 3.30 daily, and was never late or sick, he did this without pay or expenses only to be told after the seven weeks that he did not have the necessary sport qualifications for the position ( he does have 6 GCSEs). An agency sent him to for the role knowing his qualifications. Is this legal? He is so disappointed and down and now low in confidence, he is only 17. The agency has said they will find him another position for a trial period ????? . What are his rights? I thought the idea of an apprenticeship was to be trained on the job?
J - 22-Nov-17 @ 9:04 AM
Sparky - Your Question:
Hello, I’m looking for advice. I’m a third year electrical apprentice. I’ve just received a litter from my company stating I’ve to attend a disciplinary hearing due to ‘unauthorised absences’. I’ve always handed in doctors notes, Sick lines and self-certificates. I’ve never been given any form of warning abut attendance before. Is there any advice that can be given on how to handle this situation.

Our Response:
Your employer could start formal disciplinary action against you if they have concerns about your work, conduct or absence. Please see gov.uk link here , for further information.
AnApprenticeship - 21-Nov-17 @ 11:44 AM
Hi my daughters boyfriend has a mechanic apprenticeship in a large well know motor company, he will finish his 2 years in March, he is 19 this week and is entitled to a pay rise but he was told yesterday that they cannot afford to keep him on for his final 3 year and has til march he did have a warning last year about punctuation but this year has been told by the college that he has been doing really well has passed his exams up until now can they just get rid of him like this
lisadane - 21-Nov-17 @ 9:34 AM
Mand - Your Question:
My daughter is 17 years old and working 7 hrs a day doing an apprenticeship at a nursery. She has been there for over a year and has just been signed off sick by a doctor for 4 weeks with cfs. Is she entitled to ssp the nursery says not.

Our Response:
You can eligibility for sick pay via the gov.uk link here , which should help answer your question.
AnApprenticeship - 20-Nov-17 @ 12:43 PM
My daughter is 17 years old and working 7 hrs a day doing an apprenticeship at a nursery. She has been there for over a year and has just been signed off sick by a doctor for 4 weeks with cfs. Is she entitled to ssp the nursery says not.
Mand - 19-Nov-17 @ 7:09 PM
Hello, I’m looking for advice.. I’m a third year electrical apprentice. I’ve just received a litter from my company stating I’ve to attend a disciplinary hearing due to ‘unauthorised absences’. I’ve always handed in doctors notes, Sick lines and self-certificates. I’ve never been given any form of warning abut attendance before. Is there any advice that can be given on how to handle this situation.
Sparky - 18-Nov-17 @ 4:09 PM
@aims - you are kidding! I'd tell them to go stuff their job. The more people let employers get away with this sort of action, the more employers will get away with it. It's not illegal, as internships allow people to work for nothing for a set period, but it's not on and shuold be made illegal.
RobT - 17-Nov-17 @ 10:37 AM
my friend is 26 and just got an apprenticeship at a garage but they said he has to work 6 weeks for fee first before he starts getting £3.60 an hour... I'm pritty sure he isint allowed to work for free is this true and if it does who do i go to for help.
aims - 16-Nov-17 @ 12:58 PM
Thank you for your reply. All the workers meet at a given place at 6 in the morning, I drop him off there as there are no buses at that time, they then travel to site to work. At the end of the day he is returned to the pick up point and makes his own way home. His employer is asking him to contribute to his costs for getting to work at whichever site they are working on. His employer has not given him a contract even though he has asked him 3 times for one so he cannot check that information
GaryArms - 16-Nov-17 @ 12:43 PM
GaryArms - Your Question:
My son is 16 and doing a joinery apprenticeship where they work on site and have no business premises. They tell him to be there for 6 am, which means I drop him off.They are working 40 miles away from home and travel daily. They have told my son he must make a £3 per day contribution towards fuel costs. He often does 10 and 11 hours from 6 am to finishing work but they say as he often falls asleep in the car He is only working a 6or 7 hour day. Can they do this ?

Our Response:
There are rules to protect those under-18 against working too long each week. As specified in the article, a person under 18 normally should not work more than eight hours a day or more than 40 hours a week, please see TUC guide here. However, travel to work is not incorporated in this. If his contract specifies that he has to travel to the job, then there is little he can do. Most people have to pay to travel to and from work, even as an apprentice. So for instance if he is dropped off at home every night, then it is understandable that he would have to contribute to this. Your son would need to read the terms and conditions of his contract and see whether they fit in with the job he is doing and the European Working Time Directive rules.
AnApprenticeship - 16-Nov-17 @ 10:57 AM
My son is 16 and doing a joinery apprenticeship where they work on site and have no business premises. They tell him to be there for 6 am, which means I drop him off.They are working 40 miles away from home and travel daily. They have told my son he must make a £3 per day contribution towards fuel costs. He often does 10 and 11 hours from 6 am to finishing work but they say as he often falls asleep in the car He is only working a 6or 7 hour day . Can they do this ?
GaryArms - 15-Nov-17 @ 6:53 AM
I m a manager he in a private company. As an employer we had been registered on November 2016 by online in Apprentice portal but it's password we got after 6 month from the registration. Also in November 2016 we were recruited 6 students from a technical college and they were also done their registration and gave the same to us. We tried so many times at local and regional office for appearing their examination,but they are not entertain us and also they are telling it's not possible as we had not recruited these students through them. Please suggest what to do?
Bula - 14-Nov-17 @ 6:19 PM
Jacoobbb - Your Question:
I started an apprenticeship in September 2017, now November 2017 and a family holiday has been booked and arranged for 2018. My apprenticeship is in a hair salon and my boss is refusing my holiday request because it is holiday season. Is this aloud?

Our Response:
If it specifies in your contract that you must work and not take annual leave during this time, then yes. However, if it is not, then you would really need to negotiate further with your employer, especially if the holiday has been previously booked.
AnApprenticeship - 14-Nov-17 @ 3:57 PM
Jacoob - Your Question:
Can a holiday request 8 months in advance be declined due to it being in wedding season? As I work in a salon and because weddings are booked in the period of my scheduled holiday my boss is refusing me to leave, demanding I cancel my holiday.

Our Response:
You would have to read the terms and conditions of your employment contract in order to find this out. If your contract specifically says you are not to book annual leave between certain dates, then there is little you can do.
AnApprenticeship - 14-Nov-17 @ 3:04 PM
Jake - Your Question:
Hi im 20 in the 3rd and final year of my apprenticeship. Im being bullied by my manager. He jokes with other people but is serious with me. He shouts and swears very close to my face and stands over me. He has threatened me with my job on a regular basis with no fair reason behind it. Watches me work and makes fun of me while the other employees do no work.i want to leave. But if I do I wont get my certificates from the training center despite completing all the work. I know I can file a harassment complaint but a former apprentice did and he was treated unfairly and poorly until the point that he left.i dont know how I can deal with this without Being worse off. Please Help

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. It really is the only recourse you have to complain, please see link here for more information.
AnApprenticeship - 14-Nov-17 @ 2:37 PM
Laura- Your Question:
I am currently veterinary nurse student in my first year of training. I go to college one day a week and work in practice four days a week. However at the moment I am already starting to feel as though my work, life and college balance isn't working. I don't feel I have enough time to be revising, doing my assignments and NPL whilst working four days a week. Ideally I would like to see if I can drop a day working in practice so I can have extra time focusing on my college work. Does anyone know if there are any rules as to the minimum and maximum amount of hours a student can work a week? And if so can a student drop a day working in practice? As well as this I am currently the only full time member of staff in my practice so I worry that I won't be able to drop a day. Thank you

Our Response:
You would have to look at the terms and conditions of your contract to see what it lays out and then if you wish to change it, you would have to speak to your employer directly. Apprentices are normally be expected to work for at least 30 hours per week.
AnApprenticeship - 14-Nov-17 @ 1:58 PM
Can a holiday request 8 months in advance be declined due to it being in wedding season? As i work in a salon and because weddings are booked in the period of my scheduled holiday my boss is refusing me to leave, demanding i cancel my holiday.
Jacoob - 14-Nov-17 @ 12:24 AM
I started an apprenticeship in September 2017, now November 2017 and a family holiday has been booked and arranged for 2018. My apprenticeship is in a hair salon and my boss is refusing my holiday request because it is holiday season. Is this aloud?
Jacoobbb - 14-Nov-17 @ 12:21 AM
Hi im 20 in the 3rd and final year of my apprenticeship. Im being bullied by my manager. He jokes with other people but is serious with me. He shouts and swears very close to my face and stands over me. He has threatened me with my job on a regular basis with no fair reason behind it. Watches me work and makes fun of me while the other employees do no work.i want to leave. But if i do i wont get my certificates from the training center despite completing all the work. I know i can file a harassment complaint but a former apprentice did and he was treated unfairly and poorly until the point that he left.i dont know how i can deal with this without Being worse off. Please Help
Jake - 13-Nov-17 @ 9:38 PM
Hi I’m 22 and I have been employed as a nursery assistant for the past 55 weeksI’m still getting paid 3.50phr. I was given my apprentiship company only 45weeks ago. Where do I stand on pay? Can they keep paying my 3.50phr till I’ve been with the apprentish compay 1 year or is it after I’ve been with the nursery as an apprentice for 1year?
Bee - 13-Nov-17 @ 7:26 PM
Chelsea1 - Your Question:
I am currently in my last year of my apprenticeship and there is loads of overtime available. Is there a policy where I can opt out of the amount of overtime I do? I am currently being told I can do a maximum of 10 hours a week averaging to 170 over 17 weeks. I am contracted to 37.5 hours. I am willing to do more than this but I am being told this would be illegal if I do. Thanks.

Our Response:
In this case, you would have to stick to the wishes of your employer.
AnApprenticeship - 13-Nov-17 @ 2:07 PM
Soph - Your Question:
I am an apprentice teaching assistant and My year contract is neatly finished. I spoke with the head teacher couple weeks ago and arranged a meeting to discuss the future. We did and he promised to put me through more courses and keep me on. He promised me a contract starting the day after my apprenticeship one finishes. This new contract was only 20 hours a week so I found a part time job too. Everyone in the school knew he was keeping me on. As I'm the first ever apprentice to do so. Just on Friday he called me in and said he can't give me this contract anymore and I finish next week. I feel very hurt and unfairly dismissed. Do I have any rights?

Our Response:
Even though your head made a verbal promise, unfortunately, you don't have any rights if the contract has ended.
AnApprenticeship - 13-Nov-17 @ 11:55 AM
I am currently veterinary nurse student in my first year of training. I go to college one day a week and work in practice four days a week. However at the moment I am already starting to feel as though my work, life and college balance isn't working. I don't feel I have enough time to be revising, doing my assignments and NPL whilst working four days a week. Ideally I would like to see if I can drop a day working in practice so I can have extra time focusing on my college work. Does anyone know if there are any rules as to the minimum and maximum amount of hours a student can work a week? And if so can a student drop a day working in practice? As well as this I am currently the only full time member of staff in my practice so I worry that I won't be able to drop a day. Thank you
Laura - 13-Nov-17 @ 7:28 AM
I am an apprentice teaching assistant and My year contract is neatly finished. I spoke with the head teacher couple weeks ago and arranged a meeting to discuss the future. We did and he promised to put me through more courses and keep me on. He promised me a contract starting the day after my apprenticeship one finishes. This new contract was only 20 hours a week so I found a part time job too. Everyone in the school knew he was keeping me on. As I'm the first ever apprentice to do so. Just on Friday he called me in and said he can't give me this contract anymore and I finish next week. I feel very hurt and unfairly dismissed. Do I have any rights?
Soph - 12-Nov-17 @ 9:21 PM
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Latest Comments
  • chris
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    our company is on the border of England and Wales.but we are in Wales. our local college (england) said they can provide us with…
    14 December 2017
  • chris
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    our company is on the border of England and Wales.but we are in Wales. our local college (england) said they can provide us with…
    14 December 2017
  • Biff
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    @Nikki b - most monthly salary workers are paid the same way. There are some longer and some shorter weeks in a month, the salary is…
    14 December 2017
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Dealing With Bullying at Work
    JoJo - Your Question:My son is 16 years old and works as a joiner for a one-man-joinery business. He also works with another…
    14 December 2017
  • JoJo
    Re: Dealing With Bullying at Work
    My son is 16 years old and works as a joiner for a one-man-joinery business. He also works with another joiner who works with…
    13 December 2017
  • Nikki b
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    My daughters is in an apprenticeship at a hair salon,she gets paid on the last Wednesday of every month so some months go into a five…
    12 December 2017
  • AnApprenticeship
    Re: Can I Sack an Apprentice?
    Leroy - Your Question:My son is 17 and since September he's been on an apprenticeship with a self employed building contractor. Before…
    7 December 2017
  • Gully
    Re: Your Rights as an Apprentice
    I’m looking for a company willing to take on a 3rd year apprentice plumber I lost my job due to the company I worked for going…
    6 December 2017
  • Leroy
    Re: Can I Sack an Apprentice?
    My son is 17 and since September he's been on an apprenticeship with a self employed building contractor. Before September he was…
    5 December 2017
  • Aj232
    Re: Working Hours and Holidays
    I’m 17, and I have an apprenticeship at a pharmacy, only started in late October... I get every Monday off, I work 8:30am till 6pm…
    4 December 2017
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