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Employing an Apprentice? Make Sure Your Organisation Uses the Right Contract

Whilst the start of the new academic year is a way off yet, some organisations will already be considering taking on an apprentice. If your organisation is one of these, it’s important to think ahead when it comes to the contract you will be using for an apprentice.

Why does the contract matter?

Whilst apprentices are employees, they should not be issued with a ‘standard employment contract’. This is because there are special rules regarding apprentices which mean it’s more beneficial for an employer to use a type of employment contract called an apprentice agreement. If a correctly drafted apprentice agreement is used and an employer wishes to dismiss the apprentice during the fixed term of the contract, the apprentice has no greater rights than any other employee.

However, if an appropriate apprentice agreement is not used an apprentice can be found to be employed on a ‘traditional contract of apprenticeship’. This is bad news for employers as it is significantly more difficult to dismiss such apprentices. Traditional contracts of apprenticeship cannot usually safely be terminated prior to the end of the fixed term and if they are, any damages for breach of contract are potentially much greater than would usually be the case for ordinary employees. This protection is in addition to the usual employment law rights.

Advice

If your organisation is taking on an apprentice, you should contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we can assist you by providing an apprentice agreement where required.

It’s important to be aware that if your apprentice will be employed in England, there are two different types of apprentice agreement. To ensure the correct agreement is used, you will need identify whether an approved English apprenticeship standard or a framework applies to your situation.

If you have any questions regarding employing apprentices or you would like advice regarding any existing apprentices in your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are happy to help.