Apprenticeships are a great way to create a skilled workforce. Many firms benefit from hiring apprentices to provide employees with specific skill sets.
However, not everything goes as to plan. Apprentices may be one of the first roles you consider cutting if redundancies are an inevitable aspect of running a business.
Can an employer, on the other hand, terminate an apprentice? And, if so, what are the legal consequences? This, as well as other issues, will be covered in further detail below.
Is it possible to dismiss an apprenticeship?
You and your apprentices may be asking whether an employer has the authority to terminate an apprentice. After all, apprentices are technically employees of the company, and if there is a decreased need for them to complete a duty, you may wish to consider redundancy.
However, you must continue with care. A considerable body of legal opinion maintains that apprentices are explicitly protected against redundancy under contract law. Making an apprentice redundant would be a contract breach on the side of the employer.
When dismissing an apprentice, you must first determine if they are covered by an apprenticeship contract or an apprenticeship agreement.
Apprenticeship Agreement (England and Wales)
Under a specific apprenticeship agreement, an apprentice in England and Wales. The answer to the question of whether you can make an apprentice redundant in some situations is simple: yes, you can.
Apprentices who have less than six months to complete their training or who have completed 75% of it may be eligible for government assistance to continue their training for at least 12 weeks until they find another job.
Furthermore, an apprentice with less than 12 months to go maybe dismissed via redundancy and afterwards employed under a new apprenticeship agreement in the business, as long as they work and get the same amount of training as previously.
Agreement on Apprenticeship (Scotland)
Apprentices in Scotland are engaged under a common law apprenticeship contract. Like an employment contract, this contract has specific clauses that govern the relationship between apprentices and their employers.
Under this contract, apprentice redundancy cannot be carried out in the same way as normal redundancy processes. An apprentice cannot be fired unless the firm fails or undergoes a dramatic change in character.
Does apprenticeship years count for redundancy?
Apprentices are unlikely to be eligible for statutory redundancy pay since they must have at least two years of experience. They will, however, be eligible if they have served for the required amount of time.
If you do not renew your apprenticeship contract in Scotland, employment law considers it a dismissal for some other significant reason rather than redundancy. That is, there would be no redundancy pay.