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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44941
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My grandson was taken on as an apprentice in April 2014 no

Customer Question

My grandson was taken on as an apprentice in April 2014 no contract or agreement was given or signed by him. On the 12th June he was at a party had to much to drink and accidently broke a window. He told his employer what he had done on his return to work the next day, His employers son told him that he would need to suspend him from work(without Pay) for 1 week until his father returned from holiday as this could affect his business (glazing firm) On the employers return from holiday he spoke to my grandson and they came to an agreement that the company would replace the window if my grandson paid for it. My grandson told them that he would give them the money at the end of June which his employer agreed to. On the 30th of June his employer asked my Grandson if he had the money, my grandson phoned his Mother and asked her if she would take the money to his place of employment. His mother text his employer and said she would be up with the money but she wanted a receipt, the employer then turned to my grandson and asked him if that was his mother that text him and when my grandson said it was he called her a f----- cheeky bitch, my grandson then replied by saying don't call my mother a f----- bitch, his employer then went into his office lifted his work bag threw it at him and told him to get out that he was sacked.
My daughter wrote a letter to my grandsons employer appealing against his dismissal, his employer replied that it was because he broke a window. my daughter again wrote a letter asking for a copy of the signed contract or agreement that my grandson should have received on commencement of employment, also a copy of what Health and Safety training he received, these documents have not been forthcoming only a letter from his employers accountant that she will hear his appeal, surely this has nothing to do with an accountant?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What are you hoping to achieve in this situation?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I would like proof that my Grandson was employed as an apprentice as he never signed a contract or an agreement on commencing his employment, if he was not an apprentice then he has not been paid the National Minimum Wage for the year and a half he worked.

He received a letter on Saturday from his ex employers accountant requesting a meeting with him surely this is a conflict of interest and why is the accountant got anything to do with his appeal?

The paperwork that I requested has still not been receicevd

Yours I mannering

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You say that he was taken on as an apprentice sop if that was the intention and he was employed as such then even without a written contract. If an employer has an agreement with an individual the main purpose of which is for that individual to be trained by the employer, there will automatically be an apprenticeship contract in place. There is no legal requirement for it to be in writing. So his status would depend on what he was taken on as and what the employer’s intentions were, such as if training was provided. Therefore, the likelihood is that he was an apprentice automatically, regardless of whether a contract was in place or not and as such the pay he received will be correct.
His rights would be much better in terms of challenging the dismissal. Apprentices have some extra rights when it comes to protection against dismissal and they could easily claim for breach of contract and associated losses.
Some useful online advice from a firm of solicitors called Morton Fraser summarises his rights quite nicely:
“A contract of apprenticeship is for a fixed-term, usually for the duration of the training course which will result in their qualification, and employers are extremely limited in terms of dismissing the apprentice before the end of the fixed-term, even where there is poor performance or misconduct.
If an apprentice is dismissed prior to the end of the fixed-term and successfully claims that this is a breach of contract then they may be entitled to both damages for loss of earnings until what would have been the end of the apprenticeship, and also future loss of earnings beyond the duration of the apprenticeship for loss of future career prospects. This is on the basis that it will be difficult for an apprentice to find another workplace to join mid way through their training course and their dismissal will often therefore effectively end their chances of being able to pursue their chosen career.
This type of claim can succeed even if their dismissal would have been fair under ordinary unfair dismissal principles. For example where it may be fair to dismiss an ordinary employee if they have committed a series of acts of misconduct or if their performance is poor, the level of misconduct or poor performance will need to be much higher in the case of an apprentice before dismissal can be safely considered. There is a lack of recent case law in terms of the circumstances in which an apprentice can be dismissed in a way that doesn't breach their contract, but it appears to be limited to circumstances in which their actions are so extreme as to render them unteachable - i.e. where their conduct goes to the heart of the contract, which is to train them to do the role in question.”
So the fact that he accidentally broke a window is unlikely to be considered a fair and reasonable reason to dismiss him during his apprenticeship and he could consider claiming for breach of contract against the employer.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the response above?

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