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Most modern apprentices are categorised as employees, which entitles them to a wide range of statutory work rights including: at least 5.6 weeks paid holiday a year (including bank holidays); rest breaks; health and safety protection; and a contract of employment or training agreement.  

Apprentices are entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage. As of 1 April 2022, this is £4.81 per hour for apprentices aged 16 to 18, or aged 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship. All other apprentices are entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage for their age.   

These are the legal minimums and employers may offer apprentices better terms in line with their own standard HR policy. Employers may pay more than the minimum wage at their discretion.   

However, apprentices typically have time off work to allow them to study and complete training. Unlike ordinary staff, the circumstances in which an apprentice’s contract can be terminated are also more limited 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.
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