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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50166
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My 18 year old daughter was taken on as an apprentice in October

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My 18 year old daughter was taken on as an apprentice in October 2015. Fo a 3year apprenticeship. On February 11 2016 she was fired on the spot with no warnings and no companion with her. She was on a 6 month probationary term. The reason given at the time was Not motivated and discussing personal matters in the office. She has written a letter to the company after speaking to Acas stating that it was a Breach of contract and not allowing her statuory rights. There is to be a meeting at some point with the company but how can she get an expert to be with her at this meeting? Yesterday the HR manager who sacked her sent an email with a list of reasons why she was sacked. All very minor things. And at no time was she given any warning that shecould be dismissed. How can she get someone to be with her she was not in the union. I believe that an appreticeship is for the purpose of teaching and guiding the apprentice and if they had concerns they should have guided her through this. If they hadn't wanted to teach a guide the apprentice they should have employed a experienced office worker.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How can we find an expert who can be with her at the meeting with her company. She was fired on the spot.....and she had no warnings ...... and for no good reason. The reason stated " not motivated and discussing personal things in the work place." Instant dismissal is for gross misconduct.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. The options of who she can take with her at the meeting are rather limited I’m afraid. She did have the right to take a union representative or colleague with her at the dismissal meeting but the employer did not provide that opportunity. If they are now holding a meeting (be it a new disciplinary, or an appeal) her rights remain the same – she is still only entitled to bring a union rep or a colleague with her. It is not allowed to take anyone else, such as a lawyer, friend or relative. If she is not a member of a union then it is quite rare to get a union rep on demand so she will have to get by with having a colleague or attend alone. I am afraid it makes no difference if she is only 18 or if the dismissal was clearly unfair – the rights in this respect re quite clear and as outlined above. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the protection she will get against the dismissal, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50166
Experience: Qualified Solicitor
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you. Apprentices have some extra rights when it comes to protection against dismissal and they could easily claim for breach of contract and associated losses.Some useful online advice from a firm of solicitors called Morton Fraser summarises her rights quite nicely: “A contract of apprenticeship is for a fixed-term, usually for the duration of the training course which will result in their qualification, and employers are extremely limited in terms of dismissing the apprentice before the end of the fixed-term, even where there is poor performance or misconduct. If an apprentice is dismissed prior to the end of the fixed-term and successfully claims that this is a breach of contract then they may be entitled to both damages for loss of earnings until what would have been the end of the apprenticeship, and also future loss of earnings beyond the duration of the apprenticeship for loss of future career prospects. This is on the basis that it will be difficult for an apprentice to find another workplace to join mid way through their training course and their dismissal will often therefore effectively end their chances of being able to pursue their chosen career. This type of claim can succeed even if their dismissal would have been fair under ordinary unfair dismissal principles. For example where it may be fair to dismiss an ordinary employee if they have committed a series of acts of misconduct or if their performance is poor, the level of misconduct or poor performance will need to be much higher in the case of an apprentice before dismissal can be safely considered. There is a lack of recent case law in terms of the circumstances in which an apprentice can be dismissed in a way that doesn't breach their contract, but it appears to be limited to circumstances in which their actions are so extreme as to render them unteachable - i.e. where their conduct goes to the heart of the contract, which is to train them to do the role in question.” I really cannot see that anything serious enough has happened to justify dismissal and she should be able to challenge it and claim for breach of contract too.