What are your responsibilities?
10. Hours of Work
11. Rest Breaks
12. Working Alone
14. Gifts and tips
As an Apprentice you have certain responsibilities as well.
Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs.
Most organisations will have policies and procedures for Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs. If you breach these rules you may be subjected to the Company’s disciplinary proceedings.
This can include at your work premises, outside work and when representing the Company at meetings, events or on other occasions.
If you are taking medication for any reason it would be advisable to tell your supervisor just in case there is an incident or medical emergency. This information should be treated in confidence.
Ensuring that you are dressed appropriately
All workplaces have a dress code, whether this is shirt and tie or smart casual. It is important that you check the dress code before you start. Some organisations may not allow piercings, the wearing of jewellery or nail polish, or insist that you wear flat shoes. These are usually due to health and safety reasons.
Should your work dress code be smart casual, your clothes will still expected to be of a good quality.
Letting the Company know if you are going to be late or are sick
It is inevitable that at some point in our working life we will be late, often due to reasons beyond your control, or off sick. It is your responsibility to let your employer know if this happens.
For sickness there will be instructions on the procedure. There will also be guidelines on the process on return to work after sickness and sickness monitoring.
With regards to lateness, should this be something that is going to cause a problem due to perhaps the bus times changing, it may be advisable to speak to your employer to see if your start time could be adjusted slightly to accommodate this.
Wearing the Uniform and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
It may be set out in your Apprenticeship Agreement or in the Company’s Policy and Procedures.
This can include the wearing of the Company uniform or wearing PPE equipment such as goggles, gloves, steel toecap shoes or hi viz clothing. You must comply with these procedures for your safety.
If you are required to wear or use PPE, this should be provided free of charge by your Employer.
Ensuring that you complete the required training
Part of your contract with the employer is to undertake the required training to gain a qualification. This will be both inside and outside the workplace. If you are completing a qualification at college or have a Training Provider come to the Company to deliver the training, there will be work that you will be expected to provide to show your competence in this work and you may need to complete some of it in your own time. * Remember it is the chance to showcase to your Employer your knowledge and skills and could lead to you being taken on or being given time off to attend the next level in the qualification.
The use of Phones
Remember you are representing your Company at all times. There is usually a Policy at Work regarding the use of phone during working time. This could be restricted to break times and your phone may not be allowed in the workplace or on the shop floor. Most businesses will not be responsible for the safety of the phone and if it should get stolen or damaged this will usually be down to you.
Use of Social Media
Social Media is now widespread and there may be a time when you will see something on the networks about your Company which is either positive or negative, or you may not be having such a great time and comment to your friends on social media that the company is not good to work for, or speak about a certain person in a derogatory way. This is not acceptable.
Social Media is a public site and it could be deemed that you are making a comment on behalf of the Company.
Most Companies have policies and procedures which will state that talking about the Company or any of its Employees in a negative way on Social Media is a disciplinary offence and my lead to dismissal.
Use of the Work Computer
Some Companies will allow you to use the computer at certain times of the day for personal use, however this is usually restricted to breaks and lunch times.
However, it is unacceptable to go onto websites or to download inappropriate material at work. There may also be other restrictions on what you can use the computer for, (for example) not for social media, or for purchasing any goods and these will be made clear in the Company’s policies.
Misuse of the computer will lead to disciplinary action and possibly dismissal and may even result in investigations by the Police if the misuse is against the law.
Representing the Company
When employed by a Company, you are now representing the Company at all times. If you have a uniform, or t shirt, or jacket with the Company name on that you are required to wear for work, if you are wearing outside of work you will still be representing the Company. Therefore, ensure you do not use inappropriate behaviour which will reflect back on the Company.
Depending on the severity of the incident this could also lead to disciplinary action.
Hours of Work
You should not be asked to work more than 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day. You should not be asked to work between 10pm and 6am (exceptional circumstances may apply). Your hours of work should include your approved training and not in addition to. i.e if you go to college for one day a week this will be included in your 40 hours.
However, when you are at work you will be expected to work to the best of your ability and turn up on time. Lateness puts additional stress onto your colleagues and will cause unpleasantness. Continual lateness could result in disciplinary action.
If you are aged between 16-18 you should have at least a 30-minute break if your shift lasts more than 4 ½ hours and at least 11 hours between shifts.
If you are older than 18 the rule is 20 minutes for every 6 hours worked.
These will not normally be paid.
You will need to find out the process for these within your workplace and not abuse the rest breaks.
You may be allowed to leave the building but you will be required to be back at your station on time.
In a lot of workplaces these may be staggered breaks and therefore your late return could prevent a colleague going for their break on time.
It is not against the law for anybody to work alone, however the Employer must consider all the risks with regards to your health and safety at all times. A specific risk assessment should be undertaken taking into consideration your capabilities and measures should be put in place to deal with any health and safety risks. It is your responsibility to bring any specific risks you may have to your employer.
Most employment have a probationary period which could be a week, a month or up to 6 months. This should be stated in your contract, as well as how much notice your employer or you are required to give to end the contract. If you are not working to the required standard the Manager should speak to you and advise you in the areas that you may need help, offering additional training if necessary. This could include your progress on your qualification. It is therefore your responsibility to respond to help and advice given to you to complete your Apprenticeship in the required manner.
Gifts and tips
In some line of work if you are doing well it is not unusually to receive tips or even gifts from your customers. However, there are usually guidelines within the policies and procedures giving advice on this. A lot of time you will be able to keep the tips or gift yourself, or you may have to put them in a pot to share with everybody. Sometimes you will need to record the gifts received in a special book. However, there are also times when you will not be able to accept the gift and need to return it to the customer as the gift could be seen to be a bribe. Receiving a chocolate bar when a supplier comes to the shop may be acceptable, but continually receiving hampers would not.
We want to make sure Apprentices on the Isle of Wight are treated fairly and have the support and guidance that they deserve