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Working pupils are not apprentices
Apprentices are entitled to a lower National Minimum Wage (NMW) than other employees. Many equestrian employers have paid their working pupils at the lower, apprentice rate. However, the courts have said that a working pupil will only be an apprentice if:
- the principal aim of the arrangement is training – the emphasis being not on “working” but on “pupil”,
- the contract is for a fixed duration and
- the arrangement can only be terminated if something happens which fundamentally undermines the ability to teach the working pupil.
Most equestrian working pupils are there to do a job and the training is incidental. They are entitled to the full rate of NMW. And worth every penny.