Industrial Relations

In a brand new blog, Martin Meadlarklan, Employment Relations Manager at the JIB, discusses Industrial Relations Trends and Forthcoming Employment Law Changes.

Rates of pay for apprentices has been a topic of interest of late, with several queries being received via the Industrial Relations inbox and by telephone from member companies.  

The current apprentice rates of pay are set out on pages 41 and 42 in Section 2 of the JIB Handbook. It is important to note that for any days spent at college that the At College rate applies and for any days at work, the At Work rate applies. 

Where an apprentice is outside of the first year of their apprenticeship and over 19 years of age they are entitled to the higher of:

There are four stages to the JIB 2017 Apprenticeship Scheme, and Stage 1 apprentice is the usual entry point. Progression to Stage 2 is reliant on the apprentice successfully completing the Stage 1 requirements of the training programme. Typically, this will be when the components of the first-year training programme, as identified in their personalised training plan, have been successfully completed. Fuller details of the latter apprentice stages and progression are set out in Section 8 of the JIB Handbook.

Employment Law

In the world of employment law, 2023 has been a busy year thus far, and one thing for member companies to note, is that the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 was given Royal Assent on 20th July 2023, and is expected to come into force in Summer 2024 (this is to allow time for employers to prepare).

The upcoming changes are set out below:  

  • Employees will be able to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period (compared to one request previously).
  • Employers will have to deal with requests within two months of receipt (reduced from three months), but parties will be able to agree to extend this.
  • Employers will be under a duty to consult with the employee, before rejecting a request.
  • Employees won’t have to explain what effect they think their request will have on their employer and suggest ways to deal with this.
  • The eight reasons for rejecting a flexible working request remain unaltered.

It’s important to reiterate that the right remains a “right to request” and the Act does not introduce an automatic right to work flexibly.      

The day-one right to request wasn’t made explicit in the Act, however the government have stated it will be implemented. It is normal for regulations or secondary legislation to be enacted to bring laws into force. Do get in touch with me via if you have any questions about apprentice wage rates, stage progression for apprentices, or about the forthcoming flexible working arrangements as set out above.