If an apprentice loses their employer, can they continue with their apprenticeship? Rubitek has been receiving this question a lot over the last month, so we thought we’d put together an article explaining in more detail whether an apprentice can continue with their apprenticeship when they’ve lost their employer.
Defining the Rights of the Apprentice
First, we feel it’s important to set out what an apprenticeship is.
Put simply, an apprenticeship is a job - which a person is employed to do – combined with study for a formal qualification. Apprentices are normally employed under a contract of employment with an apprenticeship agreement – this agreement may form part of their contract of employment, or it may be a separate agreement. Apprentices have the same rights as other employees, which include:
Minimum 20 days paid holiday per year (if full time)
Sick pay entitlement
Statutory maternity/paternity pay and leave
The national living wage for apprentices, or the national minimum wage
A contract of employment
Health and safety protection
Apprentices have additional rights too; they must also be paid for time which is spent training or studying for their apprenticeship and this must consist of at least 20% of the apprentice’s working hours.
What If the Apprentice Loses their Employer?
Just like other employees, an apprentice may find themselves in a situation where they have lost their employer. The funding rules published by the Education Skills Funding Agency state that ‘an apprentice has to be employed continuously for the duration of the apprenticeship’ which means, if their employment is terminated and the apprenticeship agreement ends, the individual cannot continue with their apprenticeship. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, including if an apprentice is made redundant.
If the Apprentice is Made Redundant
An apprentice who has been made redundant can continue their apprenticeship for at least 12 weeks following redundancy while they search for another employer, and an apprentice with less than 6 months training remaining, or who has completed at least 75% of their training, may be able to continue and complete their apprenticeship regardless of whether they find a new employer or not.
If an apprentice is unable to find an employer within the timescales permitted but was within 6-12 months of completing their apprenticeship when they were made redundant, they can restart their apprenticeship from the point they left off when they eventually find a new employer.
What to Do Next
If you are an apprentice and want to continue with your apprenticeship but are faced with losing (or you have already lost) your employer, speak to your training provider as soon as possible. Your training provider may be able to help you look for an alternative employer and keep you on your apprenticeship until you find one.
How Rubitek Can Help
If an apprentice finds themselves in this situation, our software, Rubitek Core, supports the transfer of apprentices from one employer to another and will even generate the necessary information in the Individual Learner Record (ILR) in order to support a training provider’s funding claim. In uncertain times, this removes a huge emotional and administrative burden for the apprentice and their provider alike.