Historically apprentices worked under “Contracts of Apprenticeship”. Those types of agreement were for fixed term periods and it was usually difficult for employers to terminate them before they expired. As a result many employers were less than enthusiastic in taking on apprentices.
To do something about this, the Government introduced the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009. The Act directs that an “Apprenticeship Agreement” is in fact a “Contract of Service” not a “Contract of Apprenticeship”. This means that apprentices have the same legal rights as employees as they all now work pursuant to “Contracts of Service”.
To assist in this process, the Apprenticeships (Form of Apprenticeship Agreement) Regulations 2012 came into force on 6 April 2012. The Regulations state that Apprenticeship Agreements under the 2009 Act must contain “the basic terms of employment required to be given to employees under Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996” i.e. salary details, the method of payment, hours of work, job title, place of employment etc. The Statement must also state the skill, trade or occupation for which the apprentice is being trained.
The new provisions are not complex. They simply require the employer to provide the apprentice with the same details as are provided to all employees.