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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
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Experience:  UK Solicitor
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My son is a 4th year apprentice joiner. Last week he was issued

Resolved Question:

My son is a 4th year apprentice joiner. Last week he was issued a 4 week layoff letter due to the decline in work. As an apprentice what are his rights in regard to redundency payments in this uncertain situation? I have since spoken to his employer who as verbally told me that once my son has sat his skills test on the 7th march he intends to give him a 4 week paid off notice. can you help?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello and thank you for your question, which I will gladly help with. Please let me know if his contract says anything about being laid off?

Customer:

The only written contract is a tripart one between employer, apprentice and Construction skills (CITB)

Customer:

Ben are you still there?

Ben Jones :

Sorry, I was offline by the time you had replied. Apprentices will have better rights than employees in some respects, especially when it comes to dismissals. The ability to dismiss an apprentice is therefore rather limited. An apprenticeship scheme creates a contractual relationship for the specified period of time and as such it cannot be terminated early just by the employer giving notice to the apprentice. In other words, the apprentice cannot be made redundant.


 


If there is a downturn in trading and the employer can no longer provide training, this is a breach of contract and the apprentice can expect to receive remuneration and benefits to the end of the apprenticeship. In addition, he can claim compensation for the employer’s failure to train and the loss of prospects as a tradesman (as per the case of Wallace v C A Roofing).


 


As this type of compensation is payment for damages for breach of contract, it is not a redundancy payment and therefore the apprentice has no right to be redeployed into a different position, although the employer or LA can still try and place him somewhere different as further compensation for their breach.


 

Customer:

Hi Ben,

Customer:

hi Ben

Customer:

Hi Ben, thanks for getting back to me. Im afraid this has just become more complicated. I have found out from the Scottish Building Federation advisor that my son's employer back dated his apprenticeship by a year to aug 2007, and they failed to inform firstly the CITB and my son was never inform either. I have spoken to his boss and he has denied this to me, but the CITB rep has since been in touch to thank us for this info and apparently now has the evidence. What i can not understand now is... is my son still an apprentice until he sits his skills test ( which he should of been advised to do last year and he could of now been qualified) or how does the fact that his 4 year apprenticeship has now run to near five affect his current employment status. If he can not get any satisfaction from his current position could he take his boss to a tribunal for deception and also the fact that my son has not been paid the correct wage band for the past 4 years,

Ben Jones :

he will be an apprentice until he actually qualifies and undertakes the necessary training to complete the apprenticeship. If he had not done that in the last year then he would still technically be an apprentice for that time and can't claim employee wages

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if you have any further questions on this. If you do not, I would be grateful if you could please press Accept before exiting, many thanks.

Customer:

Thanks Ben

Customer:

Thanks Ben I still need to know if my sons employer, has back dated his apprentice start date without my sons consent or knowledge surely this is either a breach or unjust and if the back dating does stand even without his consent, what about the fact that my son has been wrongly paid because the alignment sturcture of wages has been a year behind

Ben Jones :

The employer's actions could indeed amount to breach of contract. In terms of the wage structure he does have a potential claim although that very much depends on what the difference would have been like - however this is something that can be pursued as compensation for the breach of contract claim.

Customer:

Thanks for your help

Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 38734
Experience: UK Solicitor
Ben Jones and 3 other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you

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