Stop screwing over Apprentices!

OK, I get it. You get an apprentice you get them to do all those menial tasks. Make the tea Jake, get the mail Jake, go get my lunch, Jake.

It is easy to see these wide-eyed, young people as nothing more than squires from the medieval century. But in all seriousness, they do have rights and especially when it comes to pay.

The Low Pay Commission report states that 1 in 5 apprentices earn less than their legal entitlement.

Ok I know it is a bit of a shock, I mean who would have thought apprentices have legal entitlements but alas they do and it is your job to make sure the company does not screw them over.


Here are the few common mistakes that are overlooked:

Failure to pay the higher rate of minimum wage when your apprentice hits 19 or over having completed their first year of apprenticeship.
Yeah this one can be easily ‘forgotten.’ When your apprentice has that all important birthday that everyone forgets and hits 19, know you need to put increase their pay. This is not Neverland where your apprentice stays 18 forever. Likewise the apprentice rate is ONLY for the first year.  
Paying the £4.30 per hour minimum wage apprentice rate before or after an apprenticeship actually starts or finishes.

Again, you may find yourself wanting to nab that apprentice early and sign them up before their official 12 months start. If you do, for those additional months need to be paid on the minimum wage – not the apprentice rate. The apprentice rate is only applicable for the 12 months only!


Not paying them for all the time they have actually worked – this includes training.

Apprentices bless them, the good ones put their heart and soul into their role only to end up volunteering to do to extra work, training etc. Chances are they probably have no clue that they should be paid for all of this extra time.  

Joking aside be mindful of apprentices’ correct pay. Most of them have to go through a pretty crappy experience all in the name of ‘gaining experience.’ The decent thing you can do is ensure they are getting paid correctly.


We use cookies and similar technologies to enable services and functionality on our site and to understand your interaction with our service. By clicking accept, you agree to our use of such technologies for marketing and analytics.​