Keeping Within Budgets, Should I have to Resign?
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.
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 ResignationIt 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 DismissalWhat 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.