Employer FAQ's


What should I pay an apprentice?

From April 2017, the minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.50 per hour.

This amounts to £131.25 for a 37.5 hour week (40 hours less a half hour break every day) or £140.00 for a 40 hour week, which is the maximum amount of hours an apprentice is allowed to work.

This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.

E.g. An apprentice aged 21 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £3.50.

You must be pay at least the minimum wage rate the apprentice’s age if they are 19 or over and have completed their first year.

E.g. An apprentice aged 21 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £7.05.

This is very important to remember, as often the course lasts more than 12 months, which is the minimum time of study on an apprenticeship programme.

Does the pay scale increase in the second year of training?

There are no set rules for this and it is a matter for your own discretion. If you are pleased with the work produced, it is usual that the pay is increased slightly to motivate your apprentice. If your apprentice becomes 19 or over once they have completed their first year with you, you would be obliged to pay the National Minimum Wage for that age group (please see example above).

Do I have to pay anything towards the cost of my apprentice’s training?

If your apprentice is aged 16-18 years old, you do not pay any costs towards the training; it is completely funded by the government.

However, ……. If your apprentice is aged over 19 years of age, you are required to contribute towards training costs; depending on the programme of study will depend on the cost.

If your apprentice is on the new Professional Standards, the cost to you would be £900 in total; if you are VAT registered, you will be charged VAT; if not, you will be exempt from VAT.

If your apprentice is studying on old standards qualifications, the cost will be £300. The cost of this is spread out over the length of the programme in equal monthly parts, to run the length of the programme.

If the apprentice completes before the agreed length of time; the remainder of the costs owed must be paid in full.

Am I eligible for any grants?

If your apprentice is aged between 16-18 years of age, you will receive £1000 per apprentice. This will be paid in 2 parts; the first will be due after 3 months and the second after 12 months.

What is a commitment statement and do I need one?

You must sign a commitment statement with your apprentice and ourselves. It includes: the planned content and schedule for training, how to resolve queries or complaints and what is expected and offered by you as the employer, ourselves as the training provider and your apprentice.

What is an Apprenticeship Agreement and do I need one?

Yes, you must sign an apprenticeship agreement with your apprentice. It gives details of what you agree to do for the apprentice, including: how long you’ll employ them for, the training you’ll give them, their working conditions and the qualifications they are working towards.

Why should I use an apprenticeship agreement?

We advise a National Hair Federation (NHF) agreement (or similar) to safeguard both you and the apprentice from improper conduct.

It is signed and agreed by both parties (you retain the original and the apprentice retains the copy) after the initial trial period and you are both satisfied with each other.

The agreement binds you to the training period of the apprenticeship and no further. After the apprenticeship is complete, there is no obligation to employ the person; however, we hope that this is not the case after you have invested time and effort into the training.

But if a position is not available or things have not worked out, the agreement is ended without question. If they progress onto another apprenticeship, such as barbering or advanced, another equivalent agreement may be drawn up, or if you wish to employ the completed apprentice on a permanent basis, an employee contract should be used.

What hours of work should the apprentice do?

The apprentice should be in full time employment, equating to no more than 40 hours per week and 8 hours per working day, which includes the training day. This should never be exceeded.

Breaks should be given with the legal minimum being a 30-minute break for 16-18 year olds and a 20-minute break for 18 years and over. This can be deducted from the paid working hours. Your apprentice must also have a daily rest of 12 hours and a weekly rest of 48 hours

N.B. A minimum of 30 hours, which includes the training day, is required to fulfil an apprenticeship contract.

What are the holiday entitlements for an apprentice?

The apprentice is entitled to 20 days per year plus 8 bank holidays. This is in place from the start of employment.

Do I have to supplement the training provided at the academy with in-salon training?

Off-the-job training must amount to 20 per cent of the apprentice’s contracted employment hours across the whole apprenticeship. It cannot include time spent on English and maths, or on training to acquire skills, knowledge and behaviours that are not required in the standard or framework.

Most of the required off-the-job training is completed at the academy but this must be supplemented with salon training. Examples include: the teaching of theory (simulation exercises, online learning, product/manufacturer training); practical training; shadowing; mentoring; industry visits and attendance at competitions; learning support and time spent writing assignments.

Do I pay my apprentice for the training they do?

Yes. You must pay your apprentice for all training they do both at the academy and other off-the-job training you provide.

What happens if my apprentice is ahead of target and wants to do the course quicker than normal?

If your apprentice is genuinely ahead of target, we will speak to you with regards the action to be taken. We differentiate for individuals during lessons, to ensure no-one has nothing to do or is not challenged. However, if this is insufficient to keep the learner motivated, we would consider extra work to advance quicker and/or suggest a change of classes to one that is more suitable. It should be noted that if the apprentice does not pass the new end point assessment, you as their employer are liable for the cost incurred to re-sit.

What happens if my apprentice does not complete within the timescale?

We continually monitor the progress of each learner throughout the programme and depending on the reason that they fall behind, we would take appropriate action.

If there are some genuine difficulties, we would arrange extra support, a change of class or, if possible, an extension to the time allowed. However, some learners are simply unwilling to comply with the action plans and can be lazy; in this instance, we would discuss with the learner and you, their commitment and suitability to continue with the programme and whether we feel it is worthwhile to provide support.

This type of problem causes difficulties for us as we plan way ahead for new class starts and plan staffing and resources to run them, staff availability for support is limited and we feel it only fair to support the learners with genuine difficulties. In addition to this, if we do not start new programmes on time, it affects your business plans for new recruits.