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Keeping Within Budgets, Should I have to Resign?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 23 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
Apprentice Employer Resign Company


My son has been employed by a major company since September 2007, as an apprentice for Electrical engineering.

He was told today to resign as the site had to let 3 apprentices go to keep within the budget. Being naive at 17 years old he has resigned.

Is this the way it should have been handled? Does he have any rights being an apprentice?

He received the Apprentice Team award November 2008, therefore he has been successful so far.

(Mrs D C, 19 January 2009)


It is a shame that your son has been put in this position, especially at such a young age and after committing to his apprenticeship. Unfortunately, he is learning the hard way that companies are not always willing to treat their staff correctly.

Your son’s employer is not acting fairly and is using your son’s naivety to get themselves out of a difficult situation. Nobody can be forced to resign against their will, they must come to the decision of their own accord. Many people choose to resign instead of being sacked, but your son has done nothing wrong and is not in that situation.

Forced Resignation

It sounds as though the company wants him to resign so that they can claim it was his choice and not have to pay him redundancy money or come under fire for ceasing his apprenticeship. They want to make their lives easier, to the detriment of your son’s job and training.

As an apprentice your son has the right to be treated like a regular employee. This means that his employer has agreed a contract with him and must pay him and offer him benefits accordingly. His employer cannot decide to terminate this contract without due reason. If the employer genuinely cannot afford to keep employing him then he must offer him suitable notice and an alternative job if one is available. As he has been working for his employer for less than two years he will not automatically receive redundancy pay.

Unfair Dismissal

What has happened to your son is a from of unfair dismissal and he needs to stand up for his rights. If there is a liaison officer, or union representative at his work then he should approach them to help talk to his employer. If not, then he should approach the Citizens’ Advice Bureau or ACAS who will be able to help him further.

Try to net let this experience put your son off completing his apprenticeship. There is advice and help available to him and as he is already so far through, he should make sure that he completes it and learns from the experience.

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My son was sacked today from his apprenticeship on the spot because he enquired what would happen if he applied for another job.Is this legal?
julie a - 23-Jan-18 @ 6:02 PM
@Nicky - I would have a word with your line manager and ask what they would suggest is the best route for you, therefore putting the decision on your employer. The fact you are a permanent employee who wants to progress and get ahead should be an encouraging sign, so hopefully they will support you and give you the best possible and most constructive advice to help you get ahead.
Ben - 22-Jan-15 @ 11:16 AM
Hi I would like to get an advice, am currently working for a company as a permanent employee and would like to take an apprenticeship to further my engineering skills and development to becoming a engineer, within the company that I work for and last when the vacancies were available I was told that I have to first resign as an employee of the company and reapply for an apprentice andam going to lose all my salary and benefits,and what about my 3-4 years of service and what about career growth?
Nicky - 21-Jan-15 @ 3:29 PM
Hi am stuck as what to do my 17 year old son starteda 12 month apprenticeship .leaving collage to do it .after 8 weeks he was told the company are movingand the budget doesn't include him and was told to go home and that was it .has he got any rights . Would appreciate some advise
rach - 12-Jul-14 @ 1:18 PM
My Niece has been an Apprentice since June in a Beauty Salon doing Beauty Treatments on a 3 month trial basis. The Apprentship is to start college in September to do Hairdressing, thats if the trial basis as been up to scratch! Surely how can she be classed and paid as a Apprentice when she hasn't even started college yet???
Sharon - 4-Sep-12 @ 12:59 AM
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