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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50187
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Can an apprentice be sacked?

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Can an apprentice be sacked?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Why do you wish to sack them?


My 17 yr old son has been finished in his workplace on the grounds they can t afford his mistakes.

Was he officially warned about his errors? Did the employer try and help him overcome them, like provide additional training?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No additional training shown once or twice how to do things then left alone to get on with it.I dont know but it is my understanding that at the age of 17 ,he is still classed as a minor and not allowed to work on his own due to health and safety law?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no additional training just shown once or twice then left to get on with it.It is my understanding that at the age of 17 that they are not allowed to work on their own under health and safety legislation

Those under 18 are not allowed by law to work alone, but that does not mean that they have to supervised constantly. A lone worker is someone who consistently is expected to work on their own and have no direct contact with other workers. It does not mean leaving someone to work on their own whilst in the surrounding of other workers. Examples could be petrol forecourt workers, those operating certain machinery, such as cranes, tractors, etc.

In terms of the dismissal, apprentices have better protection against dismissal than normal employees. An apprentice can only be dismissed in one of two circumstances – if they have been guilty of gross misconduct or if they have been seriously incompetent. In this case it appears that the employer used his capability as a reason to dismiss – whilst that is a potentially fair reason for dismissing an apprentice, the employer should not just jump to that and needs to use it as a last resort only. For example, if weak areas have been identified they need to try and deal with these, offer the person additional training, etc to try and fix the errors, rather than just giving up on them and opting for dismissal. If none of that was done then the dismissal could certainly be unfair and this could be a breach of contract by the employer.

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In your opinion what would be the best action to take with this matter?

He should approach them at first and raise the concerns about the sacking and the reasons that led to it. Remind them that only in the most serious of cases should a dismissal occur. Raise the lack of additional training given and how that may have helped him. Also state that you are asking for his reinstatement and the assistance he needs to improve his skills, and that you would otherwise have to consider legal action to try and seek justice and compensation.

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The employer does not seem interested in helping the trainee attempts have been made to try and understand help and assist from the home front,but communication just seems to break down.

Well the above are the recommended steps if you don't think they will help then all you can do is claim for the breach of contract by the employer
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