Important Question for Employees – your trainees/apprentices?

legal updates

The legal commitments under a contract of apprenticeship exceed those under a traditional contract of employment.

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Training Provider organisations such as Remit Training may well approach you or you approach them to assist in helping technicians get a qualification and on the job training.

What may not be appreciated by employers is that the legal commitments under a contract of apprenticeship exceed those under a traditional contract of employment. Indeed as an employee an apprentice has all the legal rights under the Employment Rights Act and more as an apprentice.

It is often the case under modern Apprenticeship schemes that there is a three-way individual learning plan between apprentice, employer and a training provider such as Remit Training. Such an agreement will provide the employer and apprentice with a long term commitment until the end of the training period contemplated which may be several years. The normal rules of dismissal eg one year of service, minor disciplinary matters etc do not apply and the Tripartite Agreement takes precedence.

In early case law it was established the key elements of an apprenticeship are:

a) wages whilst an apprentice

b) training to acquire skills

c) status as a qualified potential employee after completion of the training

If the contract of an apprenticeship is terminated the employee can bring a claim for wrongful dismissal under all of the above elements and actual and future loss.

In the case of Lloyd v Federal Mogul Sintered Products Ltd the ‘modern’ apprentice was dismissed before the end of the contract due to poor attendance. The Employment Tribunal noted that without being unfairly dismissed the apprentice would have gone on to be a skilled engineer. The apprentice was awarded £20,000.

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