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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My son age 22 was dismissed from his apprenticeship after

Customer Question

My son age 22 was dismissed from his apprenticeship after just one month for being off sick for one week. He was instantly dismissed after he had been back at work for two weeks. He did see a Doctor while he was ill and was prescribed antibiotics for an infection. His employers did not seem to believe him and told him they were not happy with the fact he took the time off work. He has an apprentice contract with the employer. His offer letter states his role is 'Apprentice Fitter' He is not on an apprenticeship agreement. It is not a fixed term contract although the stated remuneration implies his training will last for two years and then he would be paid a full fitters wage. The company did not use any form of disciplinary procedure, just called him in to the office and told him things were not working out. My son asked for a reason and was told it was the sick leave. They told him he would be paid until the end of the days shift, to collect his tools etc. and leave. He was escorted off the premises. Is this a wrongful dismissal or a breach of contract? I believe he is on an old type apprenticeship contract as there is nothing written in his employment contract about the apprenticeship, this is just in his offer letter. However they must have taken him on to train him as he has no knowledge of the work involved and needed to be trained...the sole purpose I assume of his offer. His employment contract says he is on a six month probationary period. The company believe they can just get rid of him for any reason within this time frame without following codes of practice for disciplinary issues. Is that true? I would like to take this further if he has any rights but he doesn't think he has. Can you help at all? Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Dd he have a formal apprenticeship agreement, a modern one?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. I did say in my question that he is not on an apprenticeship agreement but an apprenticeship contract.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Ok thanks just making sure. Apprentices are still legally treated as employees so their employment can be terminated if necessary. The apprentice’s rights in this respect will depend on whether they are employed under an apprenticeship agreement or an apprenticeship contract.

An apprenticeship contract automatically exists if an employer has an agreement with an individual the main purpose of which is for that individual to be trained by the employer.

If the apprentice as not employed under an agreement, they will get better rights. That is because in addition to a contract of employment, there would be a contract for training for the duration of the apprenticeship. In these circumstances an apprentice can only be dismissed if they were found guilty of serious misconduct or extremely poor performance. They cannot be made redundant. If the apprenticeship is not terminated for these reasons, the apprentice could potentially seek compensation for the loss of earnings under the apprenticeship contract plus the loss of potential future earnings.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. I am just confused by his contract. He has an employment contract the same as any employee and his offer letter where they have offered him the position of 'apprentice fitter' with a remuneration of £14000 pa for six months, then £17000 pa for the following six months, £20000 for the following year and full fitters rate of £22995 thereafter. To me that implies a two year training period. There is nothing in his employment contract that mentions any apprenticeship. I have researched this and believe they have unwittingly put him on an old style apprenticeship contract which as you say gives him more rights. Is it worth pursuing this or should he just accept he has been dismissed without fair procedures taking place?