01452 733962 info@theswac.org.uk

All this week we have been sharing information about your rights as an Apprentice. We have included all of this information in this blog. We are always happy to help if you have any questions big or small about your Apprenticeship!

Your Apprenticeship is a big step for so many reasons, it is the start of your career journey, you are working towards an important qualification and gaining valuable experience. It is also essential that you are aware of your rights as an employee and an apprentice. So although this blog is a long one we want you to have all this information to hand!


You need to be paid by your employer during your apprenticeship. You must be paid for your normal working hours and any time you spend training that’s part of your apprenticeship

You’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage. The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.70 per hour.

This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.

You must be paid at least the minimum wage rate for your age if you’re an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed your first year in employment.

Current National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates:

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70

Apprentices and 20% off the job training

Apprentices need to spend 20% of their working time completing off the job training which is relevant to their qualification.

What exactly is off the job training?

Learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day to day working routine and contributes to the achievement of the apprenticeship. It can be delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work or off-site.

Examples of off the job training include classroom training, role play, coaching and mentoring, simulation exercises, online learning, work shadowing, manufacturer training, industry visits etc..

Will all the 20% be satisfied by time at College or with the Assessor?

Different employers/Hosts and learners require different models if it works better that the entirety of the 20% is delivered by the training provider as learning then that’s fine, but in most cases it will be a mixture of time committed by the provider and your employer/Host.

It needs to be tasks or activities that are outside of the apprentice’s normal working duties and it needs to be recorded. If the apprentice was to work shadow another team member to learn new skills that contribute to the apprenticeship then this could be recorded as part of the 20%.

What isn’t included as 20% off the job and under what circumstances can it be included?

  • Induction
  • English and maths
  • Assessment
  • Progress reviews
  • Training outside of work hours

Apprentice Employment Rights: What are you entitled to?

  • A written contract of employment
  • A ‘Statement of Commitment’ – an agreement between yourself, your employer and training provider
  • An Individual Learning Plan / Training Plan between yourself, your employer and the training provider
  • A full induction to your new workplace
  • The correct wage (see above)
  • A safe working environment and protection from discrimination or bullying
  • Apprenticeships must be a minimum of 12 months and 1 day
  • Release from work to attend formal training
  • Provision of an appropriate range of work experiences to enable you to complete your qualification
  • Access to support, guidance and mentoring
  • Quality training
  • Regular assessments and review of progress
  • Sufficient time away from work station or desk to study in work time
  • In England Apprenticeships must have at least a minimum of 30 hours guaranteed as a normal working week

You can also check the .Gov Website for updates

Your terms and conditions of employment

All apprentices have employed status and are covered by the terms and conditions contained in the contract of employment and any relevant employment legislation.

Your employment contract should cover areas such as:

  • Working time (Days and Hours)
  • Pay
  • Overtime and allowances
  • Health and Safety
  • Paid holidays
  • Sick pay

Working time regulations (Working hours and rest!)

Young workers (those aged 16-18) must not exceed 8 hours of work a day or 40 hours per week. They are also entitled to paid holidays and rest breaks of at least 30 minutes if their shift lasts more than four and half hours. If your daily working time is more than four and a half hours, you are entitled to a rest break of at least 30 minutes, you are entitled to spend it away from your workstation if you have one

Exceptions for young workers

Young workers sometimes aren’t entitled to daily rest or rest breaks at work if their work has to be done because of an exceptional event. This is only where:

  • There isn’t a worker over 18 who can do the work
  • The work is temporary and must be done immediately

Anyone 18+ can’t work more than 48 hours a week on average – normally averaged over 17 weeks. You can choose to work more by opting out of the 48-hour week.

Rest breaks at work

Workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day if they work more than 6 hours a day. This could be a tea or lunch break.

The break doesn’t have to be paid – it depends on the individual employment contract.

Daily rest

Workers have the right to 11 hours rest between working days, e.g. if they finish work at 8pm, they shouldn’t start work again until 7am the next day.

Weekly rest

Workers have the right to either:

  • An uninterrupted 24 hours without any work each week
  • An uninterrupted 48 hours without any work each fortnight


Don’t forget though, if there is anything at all you are not sure of ask! There will always be someone around willing to help and guide you to find the right answers. And of course you can always give us a call too 🙂


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