Historically we have never paid apprentices off at the end of their apprenticeship, however we have this year as work is extremely tight and we honestly didn’t have anywhere for them to go.

The apprenticeship was concluded on 3rd September, however as we were desperately trying to keep the 2 lads we spent a couple of weeks looking for “somewhere to place them”. We did toy with the idea of putting them on a month by month contract but even that wasn’t feasible due to our work load at the moment.

After taking advice from our solicitors we brought the lads into the office for a meeting and explained the situation to them. As everyone in the company is aware of our light workload they said they weren’t surprised and were ok about it. The advice from our solicitors was that as their apprenticeship came to a natural end they were not entitled to any pay in lieu of notice etc.

We now have an appeal against this decision and a meeting is arranged for this Wednesday with a union rep present. Our solicitors still stand by their advice but the union are claiming Unfair selection for redundancy, unfairly dismissed and non-payment of 3 weeks notice.

The union are saying that as we allowed the apprenticeship to go over 1 day then they are classed as employees, our solicitors say this isn’t the case as we were genuinely taking the time to try to work out a solution and keep them on our books.

Any help, comments or advice will be apprreciated.

many thanks
Claudia Wallace