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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Ive just finished my apprentice with a weeks notice,after

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I've just finished my apprentice with a weeks notice,after a verbal final warning.. (After various troubles!) she is writing me letters regarding back pay.. Which is in the hands of my accountants... And will be refunded... She is requesting a copy of my dismissal policy( which I've never needed before, as we've never needed to finish any other members of staff,and have never been advised of a grievance procedure ) but I've given her a weeks notice in accordance with her apprenticeship agreement.. So should I have to respond to her letters?

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long was she employed there for?
Customer: Hi Ben
Customer: Hi Ben,sorry for delay..she has been employed for 17 months
Ben Jones :

Hi, whilst you cannot be forced to respond to her letters, it may upset her and she could consider taking further action to challenge her dismissal. The issue here is that an apprentice cannot just be dismissed from their employment and that would only be possible in the most serious cases of misconduct or poor performance. They are not treated the same way as employees and they basically have a contractual relationship where they are guaranteed a job for the duration of the apprenticeship and you may only terminate their contract if it becomes impossible to teach them, e.g. because of continued failures to follow instructions, or habitual neglect of specific duties. Even if you have specific reasons to dismiss the apprentice, you must also follow any dedicated contractual dismissal procedure because failure to do so could also result in a breach of contract on your part. So if you have followed the relevant dismissal policy then you could respond to the employee and point out this was the case to show that she has no valid complaint in that respect. However, if you did not follow it, you may have to consider whether to allow an appeal against the dismissal and discuss the issues with her.

Customer: Thanks Ben,
Customer: I'll be in touch if I need further advice.
Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided so far as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:

Customer: Hi again Ben,I've been thinking & stewing on my predicament..
Customer: my apprentice was on a final verbal warning for late arrivals and bad attendance at college,the day I gave her a weeks notice was whe
Customer: n she'd told me that she had not attended college the previous day,without asking for my approval,when I was paying her for the college day!! I only run a very small salon 3 stylists including myself..but I've been trading for 15 years & our salon policy is trust & friendship.. But we have no legal procedures in place!! Because this is the first time this has happened because I'm an honest, and so are my staff,this is alien to me!! I've decided to respond to the letter,but I don't want to cause more problems.. & I don't want to open up a can of worms
Ben Jones :

Yes I understand, you may not want to give her reasons to try and take this further for example but don't just bury your head in the sand either. The apprentice may not actually know what her rights exactly are so it could be a case that she will not take the matter further anyway. So it is a matter of 'time will tell'

Customer: Thanks again Ben,
Customer: hopefully I can resolve the issue
Customer: regards Penny
Ben Jones :

Hope so too, all the best

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