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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My daughter has a Contract of Apprenticeship dated 30th October

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My daughter has a Contract of Apprenticeship dated 30th October 2012 stating her apprenticeship commenced on 30th July 2012 and that "You will undergo continuous employment training in the trade of Hairdresser for a period of three years."
The contract then states "Prior to the end of your Apprenticeship your manager will meet with you to discuss whether the Company is in a position to offer you employment in the trade in which you have been trained." "If the Company does not offer you further employment, this Apprenticeship Agreement and your employment with the Company will be terminated."
Following a meeting it was agreed by both parties that she would fast track her training to ensure she completed it, she understood by July 2015. However, she has now received a letter stating that her employment will cease on 15th May, following the 5 weeks' training.
My question is, can the Company end her employment before the end of the 3 years without her agreement? If the agreement is for "a period of three years" surely that is what it should be. There are no disciplinary or capability issues that she has been made aware of.
Thank you
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me if the company has recently employed any other people on apprenticeships please/

Customer: Yes they take on new apprentices every year
Customer: Apologies for delay, I had a problem accessing your response
Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded

Customer: Ok thanks
Ben Jones :

Thanks for your patience. If an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that to fairly dismiss them their employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.

According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could use to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and this would depend on which of the above reasons they used to dismiss.

As an apprentice she would have further protection under contract law because the agreement to train her would be a contract and it promises the employer to give her the required training for the agreed period. If they terminate the apprenticeship early then they would be acing in breach of contract. It is only really possible to terminate an apprenticeship early on grounds of misconduct or serious underperformance. As such she could have two separate claims here – one for unfair dismissal and one for breach of contract.

She should approach the employer directly first and raise this with them, asking them to reconsider their position and reminding them that leaving the situation as it is could result in her taking legal action against them.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Customer: Thank you for your advice. Presumably she can quote exactly as you have set out?
Customer: they had suggested they were 'letting her go' early so she was ahead of other apprentices who would finish around July.
Ben Jones :

yes she may indeed refer to this advice - her rights are as outlined whether she finished ahead of another apprentice or not - her rights are determined by her length of service and her status as an apprentice. Therefore if she is being dismissed for a reason not on he list I mentioned and earlier than the end of her contracted apprenticeship she can take the matter further if needed.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies things a bit ore for you?


Yes, thank you. Apologies for delay in responding.


Thanks for your advice.

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