What are your rights?

  1. To have a contract for Employment and an Agreement for your Qualification

  2. Rates of Pay

  3. Tax and National Insurance

  4. Holidays

  5. Snow and other days

  6. Absence for Appointments

  7. Redundancy

  8. Right to remain safe

  9. Right to have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided free of charge

  10. Right to have Rest Breaks

  11. Right to have Training

  12. Right to belong to a Union

  13. Right to be treated fairly

  14. Whistleblowing Rights

  15. Rights to disciplinary proceedings

  16. Rights to notice of dismissal

  17. A Right to confidentiality

 18. A right to raise a grievance

 19. Paying into a pension

 20. Using your Car for Work Purposes

 21. Driving a Works Vehicle

 22. Asked to use your own phone for work

1. Right to have contract for employment and an agreement for your qualification

You should have an Apprenticeship Agreement with your Employer.

This will set out how long you are employed for, the training you will get and your working conditions.

Working conditions will include:

  • Hours of work

  • Holiday

  • Rate of Pay

  • Sickness

  • And other company policies such as use of phones, confidentiality etc

You should receive a written contract and you are required to receive this on or before your first day of employment. This is legally binding.

You should also have a Commitment Statement

This will be a signed contract statement between the Employer, the Apprentice and the Training Organisation.

This must include:

  • The planned schedule and content for training

  • What is expected and offered by the Employer / Apprentice / and Training Organisation

  • How to resolve any queries or complaints.

2. Rates of Pay

If you are already in full time employment you would expect your rate of pay to be the same, unless you have specifically applied for an Apprentice role, and then the Apprentice rates could apply. Please ensure that you are clear on this before you accept your contract.

For an Apprentice, the first year of the Apprenticeship you will be paid the National Minimum Wage for an Apprentice, or above, depending on your agreement with the Employer.After that you will be paid at least the National Minimum Wage:

For April 2020/ 2021 this is:

Apprentices:                     £4.15 

16-17 Year Olds:               £4.55 

18-20 Year Olds:               £6.45 

21-24 Year Olds:               £8.20

25 years and Older:         £8.72 


You must be paid for:

  • Holidays

  • Your normal Working Hours

  • Training that is part of your Apprenticeship


You must not have any illegal payments taken from your wages.


If you are already in full time employment you would expect your rate of pay to be the same, unless you have specifically applied for an Apprentice role, and then the Apprentice rates could apply.Please ensure that you are clear on this before you accept your contract.

3. Tax and National Insurance

Apprentices pay tax the same as everybody else. For the year 2019/2020 if you earn less than £12,500 you should not be taxed. If you earn more than that you will be taxed at the National tax rate. This should normally be taken straight from your pay packet.

Apprentices pay National Insurance the same as everybody else if they earn more than £162.00 per week (2019/2010 tax year) you will need to pay National Insurance. You will pay Class 1 National Insurance charged at 12% of income.  Should you earn more than £961 per week you will be charged at a higher rate.

4. Holidays

You will get at least 20 days paid holiday per year, plus a bank holiday allowance.In some industries it may be required to work on Bank Holidays.

In this instance you will need to look at your contract to see whether these have been added to your leave entitlement or are part of your working week.

Your holidays may be calculated on a pro rata basis depending on the holiday year for the company.  For instance, if your holiday year is from 1st January to 31st December and you start on the 1st January you will get 20 days.  If you start on the 1st April, you will get 15 days this calendar year and 5 next calendar year (assuming that you are on a one-year contract).  You may be required to use some of your holiday entitlement should the Company have agreed close downs.


There will be a procedure for holidays which may mean that you may not get the holiday dates that you would like unless you put the request in the correct manner giving the notice required.

5. Snow Days and Other days

You should always make every effort to attend for work in the case of  snow. If you are unable to get to work you should report in. Some companies may give you the day off as an additional day, but there is no legal right for them to do so. This information is usually at the discretion of your Company and will be  set out in the contract or in the policies and procedures.  This can include Snow days, bereavement days and absence for looking after dependents.  If your Company does not have such allowances then you may need to take these as paid holiday, and if you do not have any leave left, unpaid leave.

6. Absence for Appointments

There is no legal right to have time off for attendance at appointments, however some Companies will allow you to do so within reason. This would normally be set out in the Policies and Procedures and may be restricted to having the appointments first thing in the morning or last thing of the working day.  If your company does not have this policy you may need to take paid or unpaid leave.

7. Redundancy

An Apprentice has the same employment rights as other Employees. The Employer will need to follow the process form making you redundant.

8. Right to remain safe

As with all Employees the Employer has a duty to ensure that you have a safe working environment.

If you are aged between 16 – 18 your Training Provider may have a vulnerable Adult policy for which you will be required to advise them if you are off work for anything other than planned time off work.  This is so they can ensure that you are safe and are working in a safe environment.

9. Right to have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided free of charge

As mentioned above your Employer has a duty to ensure that you are safe at work.  As well as providing training, he must also provide the relevant safety equipment free of charge for your use.  This could be protective gloves, steel toecap shoes, eye protection, hearing protection.

10. Right to have Rest Breaks

You have a right to rest breaks.  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. 

11. A Right to Have Training

When you start any work you should receive adequate training in order for you to undertake your role competently.  This will be undertaken by both your Employer and from your Training Provider and will cover everything from being safe to gaining competence within the workplace.

With an Apprenticeship it is part of the funding agreement with the Government that you will be able to study for a qualification and often that is the Apprenticeship that you have applied for.  Your training and qualification should be set at the correct level for you.  You should receive at least 20% of your working time completing training.

Off the Job Training

This is training that should directly relate to the apprenticeship and work.  It can include the teaching of theory, practical training such as mentoring and in place learning such as meetings, tutorials etc. This will also include the time spent at the College or with your Training provider formally receiving training for your qualification.


Levels of qualification




















Source: UCAS

English, Maths and ICT

Those taking level 3 and Higher Apprenticeships are required to hold or achieve a level 2 in both Maths and English before they can successfully complete the Apprenticeship.  This is separate from the Apprenticeship and the Apprenticeship funding and is offered at no cost. Some courses will require the ICT level 2 to be attained.

Should an apprenticeship be for a lower level than 3 and they have not gained level 2 Maths and English, the Apprentice will be required to study for these subjects at the required standard.

Time taken on these subjects does not come under the Off the Job training.

12. A Right to belong to a Union

You have a right to join an appropriate Trade Union the same as any other Employee.  You should expect to pay a fee, which may be at a reduced rate due to being an Apprentice and this will be taken out of your wages. Some Unions are able to offer extra support to Apprentices.

13. A right to be treated fairly

Under the Equality Act 2010 you have a right not to be discriminated against.  There are nine protected characteristics, one of which is Age.  This in effect means that you have the right to go for promotion within the workplace the same as everybody else, as long as you have the skills.


14. Whistleblowing rights

Whistleblowing is when you report something that is not right that is happening that you have witnessed.  Such as fraud or the Company breaking the law.  Should you report this you have the right to be protected.  However, it does not cover personal grievances such as harassment, bullying etc which need to be reported through the grievance process.


15. Right to Disciplinary Procedures

Sometimes things go wrong and you may be subjected to a disciplinary.  This could be due to lateness, breaking the rules of the Company, unintentionally or intentionally, not completing your college work, or not progressing at the rate expected.   In such cases you still have your rights.  This includes having the option to put your case forward at a formal meeting and having a person to represent you.  This can be a colleague or a Union representative but cannot be your friend or family. These are usually set down in the Policies and Procedures and will include the timeframe on which actions can be taken and how you will receive notifications, ie written or verbally, and your right to appeal.


16. Right to notice of dismissal

With all contracts of Employment you are normally subjected to a probationary period which will allow you to settle into your role. However should you not meet the standards of your organisation both in the work or with your college work you could be subjected to further help with training or disciplinary action.  This would take the form of formal meetings and help and guidance to enable you to meet the standards.  Should dismissal take place you would be entitled to a letter stating the reasons . You will also have a right to appeal.  If you are with a training advisor the contract may be with them and therefore they will try to find you another place of employment.


17. A right to confidentiality

 Under the GDPR you have a right for your personal information to be stored securely and not shared with anybody who does not have the right to this information.  This includes your financial information such as your rate of pay or your bank details.  You have a right to request the information held on you in your personal files but there is a procedure to do this.


18. A right to raise a grievance

Should you feel you are being unfairly treated in the workplace you have a right to raise a grievance.  The procedure for this may be outlined in your contract or in a separate place within the workplace.  You should normally raise your concern in the first instance in an informal way with your line Manager who should be given the opportunity to tackle the problem.  However, if you feel they do not resolve it you should make a formal grievance as set out in the procedure.

19. Paying into a pension

Under the Pensions Act 2009 every employer in the UK must enrol their eligible staff onto a workplace pension and pay into it.


Your employer will need to enrol you into a workplace pension scheme if you:

  • Are not already in one or they have not enrolled you into one.

  • You are aged between 22 and State Pension age

  • Earn more than £10,000 a year

  • Usually work within the UK

You can opt out if you want to but it will mean missing out on employer and government contributions:

From the 6th April 2019                  Employer Min                    Staff min                              Total Min

                                                          Contribution                      Contribution                      Contribution

                                                                 3%                                        5%                                       8%

If you are under 22 and as long as you are earning £6,032 or more (tax year 2018/19) you can still opt in and benefit from extra money from your Employer.  Your Employer has to give you access to the pension to save into but are not required to pay into it.


If you are between the ages of 16 and 74 and earn below £10,000 but at least £5,824 you can ask to opt in.


20. Using your Car for Work Purposes

It may be in your contract to use your car for work purposes or you may have to use it occasionally. You will need to ensure that it is taxed, insured and has a current MOT. You will need to ensure that your insurance has the category to be used for work purposes. Your insurance company may charge extra for this. You may be asked to produce the documents to your employer before using your car for work. You may also have to produce your driving licence.

Should you have an accident, receive a speeding ticket or a parking ticket or any other motoring offence, you will be liable for the cost and consequences of this. If you are banned from driving you may even lose your job. Other offences such as driving above the legal alcohol level, not wearing a seat belt could lead to disciplinary or even dismissal.  Remember you are representing the Company when working in this way.

It will be stated in your contract where your place of work is and usually your mileage will be taken from that point or your home address, whichever is the lowest when you are travelling from that place. You will need to provide evidence of journeys using your car for work including mileage and sometimes a fuel receipt. It will be stated in the work handbook or your contract the rate per mile you will be paid.


21. Driving a Works Vehicle

If you are required to drive a works vehicle your Employer has to ensure as far as possible that it is safe to drive and all reasonable checks have taken place.  They must also ensure that you are insured to drive the vehicle on their policies. 

However, you still have a responsibility to drive it safely, to ensure that it is in a good condition and report any defects as soon as you are aware of them.  Similarly if you have any accidents or cause any damage to the vehicle you will be required to report it. Whilst driving the vehicle you have a responsibility to ensure that it is sufficiently fuelled and does not run out of petrol, that you do not leave the keys in the ignition and leave it unattended, that you keep it in a clean and tidy state, that you do not carry unauthorised passengers nor overload the vehicle. Remember you are still representing the business when driving their vehicle.


22. Being asked to use your Own phone for Work

If you need a cell phone for work your employer can insist you use your own.  They may reimburse you for this, but if not you can claim a tax write off.

You may need to be extra vigilant with the phone as you may have numbers or information on there that should not be shared or accessed by people outside your working environment.  Similarly should you leave the Company you will be expected to delete this information.  However, the receiver may still have your number.  If you use the phone to transfer information to your workstation, you must also be careful that you do not open the Company up to software viruses.


We want to make sure Apprentices on the Isle of Wight are treated fairly and have the support and guidance that they deserve