Do apprentices have the same work rights as ordinary employees?

More or less. Most modern apprentices are categorised as employees, which entitles them to a wide range of statutory work rights including: at least 20 days paid holiday a year (plus bank holidays); at least the National Minimum Wage for apprentices; rest breaks; health and safety protection; and a contract of employment or training agreement. These are the legal minimums and employers may offer apprentices better terms in line with their own standard HR policy. More about your basic work rights.   

However, apprentices typically benefit from a shorter working week than other employees – usually around 30 hours – in order to allow them time off to study and complete training. Unlike ordinary staff, the circumstances in which an apprentice’s contract can be terminated are also fewer than for ordinary staff – usually only in cases of gross misconduct or if the company going bust.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.