My apprenticeship has just finished and my employer is letting me go. Can I get a redundancy payment?

If an apprentice is dismissed within one month of the completion of their apprenticeship, they are not entitled to a redundancy payment under the Redundancy Payments Act 1967

I am worried about my safety at work as an apprentice. Do I have any protections?

An apprentice is deemed to be an employee for the purpose of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and is therefore afforded the protections of this legislation. This means that, among other things, an apprentice’s employer owes them a duty of care to protect their safety at work and in turn apprentices have duty to protect their own safety and those with whom they work.

I am an apprentice and my apprenticeship is for three years. Does this also mean I am a fixed-term worker?

A contract of apprenticeship is not regarded as contract of employment for the purposes of this the Protection of Employees (Fixed-term) Work Act 2003. This means that apprentices do not have any claims under this legislation.

I had to take time off from my apprenticeship when I got pregnant. What happens to the time I had left on my apprenticeship before I took time off?

Any period of apprenticeship stands suspended while an apprentice is on Maternity, Adoptive or Parental leave in accordance with the Maternity Protection Acts, the Adoptive Leave Acts and the Parental Leave Acts. This in effect means that the length of apprenticeship is extended by the time spent on leave under these Acts.

What employment protections, if any, do I have if I am dismissed as an apprentice?

Where an employee has been unfairly dismissed they are protected, and may make a claim, under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, subject to them meeting the criteria set down by the Act. Apprentices, however, are not covered by this legislation if their dismissal takes place within six months after the start of the apprenticeship or within one month of the completion of the apprenticeship.

The exceptions to this are if an apprentice is dismissed for:

  • trade union membership or activity,
  • their race or colour or sexual orientation
  • their age
  • their membership of the travelling community
  • their pregnancy, attendance at ante-natal classes giving birth or breastfeeding or any matters connected therewith

If the dismissal occurs for any of the above reasons then an apprentice can make a claim at any time.

I am an apprentice, do I have any employment rights?

Apprentices, in general, have different rules applied to them under employment legislation. Apprentices do however, have limited protections under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1997, the Maternity Protection Act 1994, Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and the Redundancy Payments Act 1967.