Rights and responsibilities of an apprentice employer

It has been the government’s mission over the past few years to improve the standards of apprenticeships in the UK. Apprenticeship starts have increased as a result, and yet still there is some confusion surrounding apprenticeships. Many employers are unaware of legal rights and responsibilities regarding apprenticeships. So what is in the small print?

Training is key. This is the primary focus of an apprenticeship, and actual work is secondary. Employers therefore have a limited right to dismiss an apprenticeship, for example, usually an apprentice can’t be let go for underperforming.

The government introduced a new form of apprenticeship in April 2012 which said that apprenticeship agreements are to be treated as contracts of employment and not traditional apprenticeship arrangements. This means that employers can end an apprenticeship contract during the apprenticeship and still be within the law.

Still, employers are advised to include protective terms as used in standard employment contracts.