Reaping new talent
Employment law solictor Natalie Ruane looks at apprentice contracts.
Employing an apprentice can be a great way to harness new talent for your farm business.
There are, however, legal pitfalls in the different contracts that are available for apprentices.
There are two types of apprenticeships – the old style apprenticeship contract and the new style apprenticeship agreement under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (“ASCLA”).
If an old style apprenticeship contract is terminated early, it can mean compensation for wages for the remainder of the apprenticeship period, loss of training opportunity and loss of status. An employer can only fairly terminate such an apprenticeship early if the apprentice is unteachable.
An old style apprenticeship contract does not need to be in writing or even state that it is an apprenticeship.
An ASCLA apprenticeship agreement must be in writing and satisfy certain conditions as set out in the Act.
An employer must be careful to ensure that all of those conditions are met otherwise an old style apprenticeship contract will have been created unintentionally instead.
The biggest advantage in using an ASCLA apprenticeship agreement is that these apprentices can be treated like ordinary employees.
About the author
Natalie is a Partner and leads the Employment Law & HR team and specialises in education.