Apprenticeship Act


Published: 1983-01-01

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Apprenticeship Act
APPRENTICESHIP [CH.320 – 1


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APPRENTICESHIP
CHAPTER 320

APPRENTICESHIP

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Apprenticeship board.
4. Duties and functions of the Board.
5. Permission to employ apprentices.
6. Who may be an apprentice.
7. Medical examination of apprentices.
8. Registration of contracts of apprenticeship.
9. Transfer of contracts of apprenticeship.
10. Termination of contracts of apprenticeship.
11. Enticement of apprentices.
12. Probationary period.
13. Suspension of apprenticeship.
14. Records to be kept by employers.
15. Limitations in regard to method of payment, overtime and foreign service.
16. Certificate of competency and proficiency.
17. Registration of existing contracts of apprenticeship.
18. Appointment of inspectors.
19. Powers of inspectors.
20. Rules.
21. Crown to be bound.
22. General penalty.


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CHAPTER 320

APPRENTICESHIP
An Act to make provision for the regulation of the

training of trade apprentices.
[Assent 4th January, 1968]

[Commencement 1st January, 1983]
1. This Act may be cited as the Apprenticeship Act.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“apprentice” means a person who is bound by a

written contract to serve an employer for a
determined period of time with a view to
acquiring knowledge, including theory and
practice, of a trade in which the employer is
reciprocally bound to instruct that person;

“Board” means the Apprenticeship Board established
under section 3 of this Act;

“inspector” means an inspector appointed by the
Governor-General under the provisions of sec-
tion 18 of this Act;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for
Apprenticeship and Industrial Training;

“minor” means a person under the age of twenty-one
years.

3. (1) The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette
establish a Board to be known as the Apprenticeship
Board, which shall consist of a Chairman and seven
members who shall be appointed by the Minister and who
shall hold office for such period, not exceeding three years,
as shall be specified at the time of their appointment, and
on the expiration of such period shall be eligible for
reappointment:

Provided that —
(a) two members shall be persons appearing to the

Minister to represent the interests of skilled
workmen;

1 of 1968
E.L.A.O., 1974

Short title.

Interpretation.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

Apprenticeship
Board.
E.L.A.O., 1974.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) two members shall be persons appearing to the
Minister to represent the interests of the employ-
ers of skilled workmen; and

(c) one member shall be a member of the Central
Advisory Council for Education.

(2) The Minister may appoint a Secretary to the
Board, and such other officers as may be considered
necessary, who shall perform such duties as the Board may
determine.

(3) The Minister may at any time if he shall think fit
terminate the appointment of the Chairman or of any
member of the Board.

(4) The Chairman or any member of the Board may
resign his appointment by tendering notice in writing to the
Minister.

(5) The Board may co-opt any one or more persons
to attend a meeting or meetings of the Board for the
purpose of assisting or advising the Board, but no such co-
opted person or persons shall have a vote.

(6) The quorum of the Board for any meeting shall
be four members.

(7) Subject to the provisions of this section, the
Board shall have power to regulate its own proceedings.

4. Without prejudice to the other provisions con-
tained in this Act, the Board shall perform the following
duties and functions —

(a) it shall at the request of the Minister, and may of
its own motion, investigate and make recom-
mendations to the Minister on any matters
connected with this Act;

(b) it shall perform such duties and functions in
regard to any matter concerning apprenticeship
as may be prescribed by rules made under
section 20 of this Act.

5. (1)(a) No person shall employ an apprentice
without having first obtained the written permission of the
Board to do so.

(b) Any permission given by the Board under this
subsection shall specify the maximum number of appren-
tices who may be employed at any, one time by the person
to whom the permission is given.

Duties and
functions of the
Board.

Permission to
employ
apprentices.

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(2) No permission shall be given under this section
unless the person applying therefor satisfies the Board that
his establishment offers reasonable opportunities for the
proper training of the apprentice or the number of
apprentices for which such permission is to be given.

(3) The Minister may, upon the application of any
person aggrieved by the decision of the Board under this
section, review such decision and may confirm, vary or
reverse the same, and the decision of the Minister thereon
shall be final.

(4) Any person who —
(a) employs an apprentice without first obtaining

the written permission of the Board; or
(b) having obtained the written permission of the

Board to employ apprentices, employs at any
one time a number of apprentices in excess of
the maximum number specified in such written
permission,

shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.
6. (1) Any person who —
(a) has attained the apparent age of fifteen years;
(b) has completed any period of compulsory educa-

tion required by law; and
(c) has been certified fit as provided in section 7 of

this Act,
may, subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this
section, bind himself as an apprentice in any trade.

(2) No person who does not qualify therefor under
the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall bind
himself as aforesaid.

(3) A person who is a minor shall not bind himself
as aforesaid except with the consent of his parent or
guardian or, if there is no such parent or guardian, with the
consent of the Board.

(4) A minor who, with such consent as aforesaid,
binds himself as an apprentice shall be bound by the
contract of apprenticeship throughout the term of the
contract notwithstanding that he may have in the mean-
time attained his majority.

Who may be an
apprentice.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

7. Every person before entering into a contract of
apprenticeship shall be medically examined at the expense
of the proposed employer by a medical practitioner; and a
medical certificate to the effect that such person is fit to be
employed in the trade concerned shall be obtained from
such practitioner by the employer.

8. (1) Every contract of apprenticeship made after
the commencement of this Act shall be in such form as
may be prescribed or, where no form has been prescribed,
in a form approved by the Board.

(2) An employer who enters into a contract of
apprenticeship with any person shall, within fourteen days
thereafter, lodge with the Board for registration —

(a) the contract of apprenticeship together with two
copies thereof; and

(b) the medical certificate obtained under the provi-
sions of section 7 of this Act.

(3) Any employer who fails to comply with the
provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be guilty
of an offence against this Act.

(4) No contract of apprenticeship made after the
commencement of this Act shall be binding unless and
until it has been registered by the Board.

(5) The Board may refuse to register any contract of
apprenticeship if, in its opinion, it is not in the interests of
the person who is the apprentice, or if it is not made in
accordance with the provisions of this Act or of any rules
made thereunder.

(6) Any party dissatisfied with the refusal of the
Board to register a contract may appeal to the Minister
within thirty days from the date upon which the decision of
the Board is communicated to him, and the Minister may
either confirm or reverse the decision of the Board, and the
decision of the Minister on appeal shall be final.

(7) In every case where the Board registers a
contract under this Act, it shall —

(a) endorse the particulars of registration thereon
and on one of the copies referred to in paragraph
(a) of subsection (2) of this section, and return
the contract and such copy to the employer; and

(b) file the other copy referred to in paragraph (a) of
subsection (2) of this section.

Medical
examination of
apprentices.

Registration of
contracts of
apprenticeship.

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(8) The employer shall deliver the copy which has
been endorsed as aforesaid to the apprentice for him to
keep.

9. (1) The rights and obligations of an employer
under any contract of apprenticeship may, with the consent
of the apprentice thereunder, and with the approval of the
Board, be transferred to another employer.

(2) The Board may withhold its approval under the
provisions of this section if, in its opinion, the transfer is
not in the interests of the apprentice.

(3) No transfer of the rights and obligations of an
employer under any contract of apprenticeship shall take
effect until the instrument of transfer —

(a) has been reduced to writing and has been signed
by or on behalf of the employer transferring
such rights and obligations and by the employer
to whom such rights and obligations are being
transferred and by the apprentice; and, where
such apprentice is a minor, has been signed also
by his parent or guardian, or if he has no parent
or guardian, by the Board; and

(b) has been registered by the Board.
(4) The employer to whom the rights and obligations

under a contract of apprenticeship are being transferred as
aforesaid shall, within one month of the date on which the
instrument of transfer is signed by him, lodge such
instrument with the Board for registration, and any such
employer who fails so to lodge such instrument shall be
guilty of an offence against this Act.

10. (1) Subject to the provisions of section 12 of this
Act any contract of apprenticeship may be terminated —

(a) by mutual agreement in writing of the parties
thereto with, in the case of an apprentice who is
a minor, the same consent as is required for
binding himself as an apprentice; or

(b) by the Board at the instance of any party thereto
if it is satisfied that it is expedient to do so.

(2) The employer shall give notice to the Board of
the termination of any contract under paragraph (a) of
subsection (1) of this section and any employer who fails
to give such notice within a period of one month after the
date of such termination shall be guilty of an offence
against this Act.

Transfer of
contracts of
apprenticeship.

Termination of
contracts of
apprenticeship.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) The Board shall not exercise the powers
conferred upon it by paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this
section unless it has given both parties to the contract an
opportunity to be heard orally by the Board or to make
representations in writing to it.

(4) Any party dissatisfied with the decision of the
Board to terminate a contract of apprenticeship may appeal
to the Minister within thirty days from the date upon which
the decision of the Board is communicated to him and the
Minister may confirm or vary any such decision of the
Board, and the decision of the Minister on appeal shall be
final.

11. Any person who induces or attempts to induce an
apprentice to quit the service of his employer, or employs a
person whom he knows to be bound by a contract of
apprenticeship shall be guilty of an offence against this Act
and liable to a fine not exceeding three hundred dollars or to
imprisonment not exceeding six months.

12. (1) The first six months of every contract of
apprenticeship shall be a period of probation during which
the contract may be terminated by either party thereto.

(2) The employer shall give notice to the Board of
the termination of any contract under the provisions of
subsection (1) of this section, and any employer who fails
to give such notice within a period of one month after the
date of such termination shall be guilty of an offence
against this Act.

13. (1) If an employer is satisfied that an apprentice
bound to him by contract under the provisions of this Act
has committed a serious breach of the terms of such
contract or of any conditions of apprenticeship applicable
to such apprentice, he may forthwith suspend the
apprenticeship.

(2) An employer who has suspended an apprentice-
ship shall report the matter in writing to the Board
forthwith and in any case not later than seven days after
the suspension and the Board shall cause an investigation
to be made into the matter and may confirm or set aside
the suspension of the apprenticeship or vary the term
thereof.

Enticement of
apprentices.

Probationary
period.

Suspension of
apprenticeship.

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(3) Whether or not a complaint has been lodged by
the employer, the Board may order the suspension of an
apprenticeship during the course of any investigation
which it may see fit to order.

(4) Where the Board sets aside the suspension of an
apprenticeship the employer shall pay to the apprentice
such wages as may have been withheld from him during
the period of the suspension.

(5) Any employer who fails to report the suspension
of an apprenticeship in accordance with the provisions of
this section shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

14. (1) Every employer who employs an apprentice
shall keep in respect of each such apprentice a record of the
remuneration paid to, and of the time worked by, such
apprentice, together with such reports as may be made on
the work of such apprentice.

(2) Every person who employs or has employed an
apprentice shall retain any record made in accordance with
this section for a period of twelve months after the date of
termination of the contract of apprenticeship.

(3) Every employer who fails to keep the required
records and every employer and former employer who fails
to retain any record made in accordance with the
provisions of this section for the required period of time
shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

15. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law
for the time being in force in The Bahamas, any term of a
contract of apprenticeship or any conditions of apprentice-
ship which —

(a) provide that the whole or any part of the wages
of an apprentice shall be based on the quantity
of the work done; or

(b) require an apprentice under seventeen years of
age to work overtime; or

(c) provide for an apprentice to be employed
outside The Bahamas except with the consent of
the Board,

shall be null and void.

Records to be
kept by
employers.

Limitations in
regard to method
of payment,
overtime and
foreign service.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

16. (1) On the satisfactory completion of a contract
of apprenticeship, the employer shall make out a certificate
of competency and proficiency and give it to the apprentice
and shall also send a copy of such certificate to the Board.

(2) Any employer who fails to provide such certifi-
cates or knowingly gives to an apprentice a certificate
under this section which is untrue in any material
particular, shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

17. Any person employing an apprentice at the
commencement of this Act may continue to employ that
apprentice notwithstanding that the contract of appren-
ticeship is not a registered contract but in every such case
the employer shall within two months transmit the contract
of apprenticeship to the Board for registration under the
provisions of section 8 of this Act.

18. The Governor-General, acting in accordance
with the advice of the Public Service Commission, may
appoint such persons as he thinks necessary to be
inspectors for all or any purposes of this Act.

19. (1) An inspector may —
(a) at any reasonable time during working hours

without a warrant enter any premises in which
he has reasonable cause to believe that an
apprentice is, or has within the previous six
months been, employed;

(b) examine, with respect to matters under this Act,
any apprentice or any person whom he has
reasonable cause to believe to be, or to have
been within the preceding six months, employed
on such premises;

(c) require the production of any of the records
required to be kept under the provisions of this
Act;

(d) examine and make extracts from and copies of
any such documents produced:

Provided that an inspector —
(i) shall not without a warrant enter or inspect

a private dwelling house without the con-
sent of the occupier thereof;

Certificate of
competency and
proficiency.

Registration of
existing contracts
of
apprenticeship.

Appointment of
inspectors.
E.L.A.O., 1974.

Powers of
inspectors.

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(ii) shall on arrival notify the employer or his
representative of his presence on the premises;
and

(iii) if so required by the employer or such represen-
tative shall permit the employer or such
representative to accompany him during the
inspection or examination.

(2) Any person who —
(a) refuses or fails to comply to the best of his

ability with any requirements made by an
inspector under the provisions of this section; or

(b) wilfully hinders an inspector in the exercise of
his powers under the provisions of this section,

shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.
(3) Any inspector exercising or seeking to exercise

any of the powers specified in subsection (1) of this section
shall, on being required to do so, produce written evidence
of his appointment.

20. The Minister, after consultation with the Board,
may make rules generally for giving effect to the
provisions of this Act, and in particular by such rules may
prescribe —

(a) the standard of education which a person shall
be required to attain for employment as an
apprentice;

(b) the minimum rates of pay to be paid to
apprentices;

(c) the maximum hours of work for apprentices;
(d) the minimum period of apprenticeship to be

served in any trade;
(e) the nature of returns which employers may from

time to time be required to furnish to the Board
and the period within which those returns should
be so furnished;

(f) the system of theoretical and practical training
which apprentices shall undergo and the manner
in which such training shall be provided by
employers for the apprentices in their employ in
any trade;

(g) the proficiency tests or examinations which
apprentices in any trade shall be required to
undergo from time to time; and

Rules.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(h) the minimum period of paid holidays to be
allowed to apprentices during any year of their
apprenticeship.

21. This Act shall bind the Crown.
22. Any person who commits an offence against this

Act for which no penalty is specifically provided shall be
liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred and fifty dollars
or to imprisonment for a period of three months.

Crown to be
bound.
General penalty.