Employer FAQ

You and your apprentice must commit to a minimum of 20% off the job training; off the job training is any training your apprentice completed during normal working hours.

20% of a 40 hour week is 8 hours per week and 20% of a 30 hour week is 6 hours per week.

Training can take place in our Academy on either a Monday or Tuesday from 9 – 5.30. This is 8 hours per week. Training can also take place in your salon or workplace with an in-salon trainer, other qualified staff or a member of our team; this can be arranged on a bespoke basis to suit your needs.

Training approaches include:

Providing opportunities to shadow more experienced staff members

Providing a mentor and/or buddy where appropriate

Allowing a younger worker the time to read existing internal resources e.g. policies and procedures

Sending a younger worker on external/online training courses

Supporting a younger worker to join career relevant associations or institutes

All training must be recorded and is subject to audit by the ESFA. (Education and Skills Funding Agency)

If your apprentice required additional support or to complete Functional Skills at level 1 or level 2, training will take place on a Wednesday at The Link Academy between 9.30 – 2.30.

Your apprentice will attend until they have passed the exam or reached the required level of understanding in maths and English. This is as well as the 20% off the job training in their chosen vocational area.

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There are certain limitations when employing 16 and 17 year olds that employers need to comply with. A younger worker aged 16 or 17 years old must be allowed:

  • At least twelve hours of uninterrupted rest within any 24 hour period in which they work.
  • A rest break of at least 30 minutes if a shift will last longer than 4 and a half hours
  • At least 48 hours of rest each week. This should be uninterrupted rest

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Yes. Apprentices are employees just like any other. This means various things. To begin with, it means that they are entitled to the same rights and protections that all other employees enjoy. For example, they are entitled to be paid a certain amount. But it also means that they can be treated like employees in other ways too – so they are not immune from sacking.

In order to sack someone legally, you have to establish fair grounds for their dismissal. There is a range of factors that might be considered fair grounds. These include, for example, poor conduct, or an inability to perform the job properly. Fair grounds might also include a legal reason that the apprentice can no longer work – for example if they are a driver and they lose their licence.

In addition, you must be able to show that you have acted reasonably during the course of the dismissal. There is, as yet, no firm legal definition of ‘reasonableness’. But in order for your conduct to be deemed reasonable, you will probably have to fulfil certain criteria. You must, for example, be able to show that you had a genuine and reasonable belief that the grounds for dismissal were fair. You may also have to show that you told the apprentice that you were considering sacking them, and that you gave them adequate opportunity to appeal. You will also be required to show, where applicable, that you conducted a proper and thorough investigation before dismissing them

It is important to remember, however, that dismissals must be carried out in a manner that is legally valid. If you fail to adhere to the rules when sacking an apprentice (or, indeed, any other employee) you could end up with an expensive tribunal to face.

The agreement between an apprentice and their employer is, by its nature, complicated. There is a lot of confusion about these contracts – for example, is it an employment contract? Is it a fixed term contract?

In fact, apprentices have a very specific legal status. They enjoy certain rights that are not extended to other workers or employees – including protection from certain forms of dismissal. It is important that you understand the nature of the contract, and how it affects your ability to dismiss apprentices.

Apprentices has now been incorporated into employment law, this means that apprentices must have an employment contract, although it is a special form of employment contract. It is a contract of training rather than actual employment. The primary purpose of the contract is training, the work that the Apprentice will complete forms a secondary part of the contract, but employment rights will still apply.

The employment contract between an apprentice and employer exist when an employer agrees to teach the apprentice a trade and the apprentice agrees to learn and serve. The contract should contain details relating to what training the apprentice will be undertaking and how this will take place for e.g. college release days etc. The contract should also make clear what is expected of the apprentice, and what will need to be demonstrated in order to pass the scheme. Please note that apprenticeship contracts must be formed in writing, unlike a contract of employment, which can be formed orally.

When training is provided by a third party it is advisable that you set up an agreement that outlines what the apprentice can expect from the training provider. At the very least it should outline what training requirement the third party is responsible for. This will ensure that you don’t leave yourself exposed to claims when the third party does not provide adequate training.

There is an expectation that an apprenticeship contract should also contain basic details of the role, working hours, rate of pay and holiday entitlement as well as any other benefits. It’s important to note that an apprenticeship contract is not a fixed-term contract, even though it is for a limited period. Under the law there are therefore special provisions for ending an apprenticeship contract.

Generally your apprentices should get the same benefits as other employees unless you can otherwise justify not providing such benefits, failure to do so can lead to discrimination claims.

No, there is no legal right to a written contract of employment. However, an employee who has been working for their employer for at least one month has the right to receive a document called a written statement of employment particulars. An employer has a legal duty to provide this within two months of the employee starting work.


The written statement is not the same as a full contract of employment, but is a statement of the main terms and conditions of employment. More information on what should be included in the written statement can be found in our step-by-step guide

 The new employee’s contract.


It is important to note that even where an employee is not given a written contract or a written statement of employment particulars, a verbal contract still exists, and the employee’s statutory rights will still apply.

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Employees and workers whose absence lasts four days or more and who meet the average earnings threshold may be eligible for SSP. The lower earnings threshold is £113 per week at 2017/18 rates. This will increase to £116 from 6th April 2018. The first three days of absence are unpaid.


Detailed guidance and an employer’s SSP calculator can be found on the gov.uk website. 

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Statutory holiday entitlement for all workers is 5.6 weeks per year. Employers should therefore multiply the number of days worked during the week by 5.6 weeks.

For example:

  • for a worker who works five days a week, the entitlement would be 5 x 5.6 which is 28 days
  • for a worker who works three days a week, the entitlement would be 3 x 5.6 which is 16.8 days

If a worker works more than five days in a week, the calculation is based on a maximum of five days. 

If a worker does the same number of total hours per week, but the hours worked per day vary, the calculation should be done in hours rather than days. For example, if a worker does 5 hours a day for 3 days and 2.5 hours a day for 2 days of the week (20 hours per week in total) the calculation would be 5.6 x 20 hours.


For workers whose total number of hours varies from week to week, their holiday entitlement will be calculated on an average of the hours they’ve worked per week over a specific period, or on a percentage of their hours worked.


There is also a holiday calculator that can be used to calculate an individual’s statutory holiday entitlement on the gov.uk website.

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Yes, they must have achieved a GCSE grade C or level 4 as a minimum, if not they must commit to work towards a level 1 and then move on to a level 2 in Functional Skills in Maths and English.