Navigating Legal and Regulatory Requirements for Employers with Apprentices

By Megan Pledger, Business Development Executive

When it comes to taking on apprentices, it’s crucial for employers to understand and comply with the legal and regulatory requirements. This blog post aims to provide a clear overview of these requirements to ensure a smooth and compliant apprenticeship process.

Understanding the Apprenticeship Agreement: A key legal requirement is the Apprenticeship Agreement. This is a contract between the employer and the apprentice, outlining the key details of the apprenticeship, such as the duration, training provided, working conditions, and the qualifications the apprentice will be working towards. It is essential to ensure this agreement is in place and adheres to the legal standards.

Working Hours and Wages: Apprentices must be employed for at least 30 hours a week and paid at least the National Minimum Wage for apprentices. It is important to note that this rate is lower than the standard National Minimum Wage, but only applies to apprentices under 19 or those aged 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship. After this, they must be paid at least the minimum wage for their age group. If an apprentice is employed for less than 30 hours a week the duration of the training programme will be extended on a pro rata basis. 

Health and Safety Compliance: Employers are responsible for the health and safety of apprentices, just as they are for all employees. This includes providing a safe working environment, appropriate training in health and safety, and any necessary protective equipment. Regular risk assessments should be conducted, especially in practical fields like Animal Care and Dog Grooming.

Commitment to Non-Discrimination: Employers must ensure a discrimination-free workplace. This includes adhering to the Equality Act 2010, which covers aspects such as recruitment, workplace practices, and providing equal opportunities for learning and development.

Supporting Learning and Assessment: Employers are required to support the apprentice’s learning and assessment. This includes allowing time for off-the-job training (20% of the apprentice’s working hours) and providing opportunities to apply new skills in the workplace.

End-Point Assessments: Apprenticeships conclude with an end-point assessment (EPA) to assess the skills, knowledge, and behaviours learned. Employers need to facilitate the apprentice’s preparation for this assessment and provide any necessary support.

Conclusion: While taking on an apprentice involves navigating several legal and regulatory requirements, the process is straightforward with the right knowledge and support. At The College of Animal Welfare, we are dedicated to guiding employers through these requirements, ensuring a compliant and rewarding apprenticeship experience.

Reach Out for Support: If you’re considering an apprenticeship programme and have questions about the legal and regulatory aspects, please don’t hesitate to contact us at CAW. We’re here to support you in every step of your apprenticeship journey.

You can get in touch via email at or by phone at 01480 422060