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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 70280
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My son has been an apprentice with the same company for four

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My son has been an apprentice with the same company for four years as of yesterday. The company have said that they will not be renewing his contract when it expires at the end of September as they are making redundancies. They have said he's entitled to nothing. I have been told that after four years of employment he has full employee rights, and should be treated the same. Is this correct?
JA: Has your son discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: HR and management have said he's not entitled to be treated as a full employee. A solicitor briefly gave the answer that he's a full employee after four years. I don't want him to pay for the full consultation if it's a non starter as he cannot really afford it.
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: Employees, there is no union
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
That's fine

I'm sorry to hear this. Can I just check, was your son furloughed at all?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
He was furloughed earlier in the year, had been back at work for a few months, and has now been furloughed again till the end of September

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. What you have heard is correct in some ways but not in his situation. The 4-year rule applies only to fixed-term employees, employed on successive fixed-term contracts, which when renewed again on a new fixed term contract after 4 years would renew automatically on a permanent contract, rather than a fixed-term one. However, he does not appear to be working under such a contract so that rule won’t apply to him.

However, as an apprentice, he is still an employee and will have all the usual employee rights for someone in his position. Most importantly, he has the right to receive redundancy pay if he is made redundant and has continuously been there for at least 2 years. Therefore, if the employer is using redundancy as a reason to dismiss him and he has 2 years or more continuous service, he should be entitled to redundancy pay.

Hopefully this clarifies your position

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