APPRENTICESHIPS:BUILDING SKILLS FOR BUSINESSEmployment law and apprentices
This hand-out sets out some key legal issues to consider in the employment of apprentices.
What is an apprenticeship?
Historically, the primary purpose of a contract of apprenticeship was theprovision of training for the apprentice. Undertaking work for an employer wasdeemed to be secondary.Employment law has now assimilated apprentices into the employmentrelationship
Managing apprentices effectively within the law
Apprentices and discrimination
Apprentices are specifically covered by anti-discrimination legislation.Apprentices are therefore protected from discrimination, harassment and receiptof less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, age, colour, race,nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, genderreassignment and disability.
Avoid age discrimination in the recruitment of apprentices
Government funding for apprenticeship training is tiered according to the age of the apprentice, with higher percentage funding for younger apprentices.However, if employers seek to limit the age of applicants for their apprenticeshipschemes on the basis of this funding eligibility they will be indirectlydiscriminating against older apprentices on the grounds of age.
Apprenticeships and pay
A national minimum wage (NMW) per hour, (£2.50), was introduced forapprentices on 1 October, who are:
younger than 19,
19 and over and, in the first year of their apprenticeship.1