One condition to remember is that an apprenticeship contract be entered into as part of a qualified learning framework. So far, employers have been caught red-handed – only the use of a standard contract and the modification of the professional title as « apprentice » will not work, as they do not contain the necessary clauses and the employer has therefore instead entered into an apprenticeship contract. Under the law, an « authorized English apprenticeship contract » is considered a service contract that gives the apprentice only the legal protection enjoyed by ordinary workers. The rights of an apprentice under an apprenticeship contract were discussed above. If an employer feels that there may be a point where it wants to fire an apprentice and given the above, it is probably preferable that specific conditions and disciplinary procedures be included in the contract at the beginning of the apprenticeship. If the apprentice breaks the terms of the agreement because of his misbehaviour, then he will not be able to demand for things like the shortfall in wages. On the other hand, apprentices with apprenticeship contracts have more rights. If they make a mistake or break the contract, the employer cannot automatically interrupt the training. Some employers seem to treat learning rather casually – they can take one, then realize they can`t bear the costs, and they decide to lay them off. Then they discover that they have stumbled into some sort of legal minefield. An agreement between the employer and the apprentice or a written or oral contract can only be considered an apprenticeship contract if it complies with the specific requirements of the law. This agreement must be signed by the apprentice and the employer at the beginning of the apprenticeship.
If the main objective of the agreement is for the employer to train the apprentice, it means that it is automatically an apprenticeship contract. When an apprentice is employed on an apprenticeship contract, he has the rights of ordinary workers and, in the event of dismissal, standard redundancy rules are at stake. You might think that apprentices are just fixed-term workers, but that is not the case. Section 20 of the Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment 2002 states that « these regulations have no effect on employment under a fixed-term contract if the contract is an apprenticeship contract. » This means that apprenticeship contracts are not legally considered temporary and can have serious consequences for an employer if it decides to lay off an apprentice. « The apprenticeship contract must be a written statement to the worker to comply with Section 1 of the Labour Law Act. The apprenticeship contract must also include a statement on the skills, occupation or profession for which the apprentice is trained in the context of skilled learning. » An apprenticeship contract must be signed at the beginning of the apprenticeship. It is used to validate individual employment agreements between the apprentice and the employer. This applies to all apprenticeship places for which a standard is published.
If this is the case, the agreement must mention the standard and is then called an « approved English apprenticeship contract. » If there is no relevant standard, there is no need to make changes to agreements developed under the 2009 Act. Starting in May 2015, the 2015 Deregulation Act amended the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 to introduce the idea of an « approved English apprenticeship contract. » A laid-off apprentice may receive a higher salary than other workers in the same situation.