The conditions of employment for Australian Apprentices are the same as for other employees working in similar occupations. This includes hours of work, overtime, holidays, personal leave, superannuation and other penalty provisions. Additional working conditions for Australian Apprentices require you to ensure they have:
- every opportunity to learn the skills and acquire the knowledge of their trade or traineeship
- access to structured on and/or off-the-job training
- paid time off work to attend training when necessary
- a safe working environment.
As the employer, it is your responsibility to inform your Australian Apprentice of the employment conditions under which they will be working.
Employment conditions that are required by law include:
Wages and awards
All Australian Apprentices must receive the wages and conditions under an appropriate award, approved enterprise agreement, or the national minimum wage and National Employment Standards. You are required by law to have a copy of this award or agreement accessible to your employees.
Your Australian Apprentices must receive a pay slip that includes details such as the period of employment to which the pay relates, the hours worked (including overtime), gross pay, tax deducted, other deductions and net pay. Pay slips must be issued within one working day of payment.
Your Australian Apprentice is eligible to receive the same entitlements as your full-time or part-time employees such as:
- leave (personal leave, annual leave, parental leave, compassionate leave)
- allowances (tool allowance, uniform or laundry allowance, travel allowance) as set out in the relevant legislation, industrial award or workplace agreement
- employer superannuation contributions.
Australian Apprentices are also covered by state or territory legislation such as anti-discrimination laws and Occupational Health and Safety laws in the workplace.
Australian Apprentices should be treated the same as any other employee and be able to take action if they feel they have been bullied, harassed, discriminated against or their safety has been jeopardised.
The probationary period stipulated in the Australian Apprenticeship Training Contract allows you to assess your Australian Apprentice before taking them on permanently. Your Australian Apprentice may still be entitled to notice of termination under the relevant award, enterprise agreement, or National Employment Standards during the probationary period.
The minimum age for an Australian Apprenticeship varies across State and Territory. Please contact your local State or Territory Training Authority for specific information on age requirements. There is no upper age limit. Participation in Australian School-based Apprenticeships requires the consent of the parent or legal guardian and the school.
Number of Australian Apprentices
There is no limit to the number of Australian Apprentices you can employ, as long as you provide adequate supervision and training for each Australian Apprentice. This may require a fixed ratio of supervisors to Australian Apprentices.
Australian Apprentices are entitled to workers' compensation. The New South Wales State Government offers exemptions on workers’ compensation for Australian Apprentices under certain conditions.
National Code of Good Practice
A National Code of Good Practice for Australian Apprenticeships has been developed to assist both parties entering into a Training Contract with a clear understanding of each other’s obligations and expectations.
For more information and advice on all aspects of Australian Apprenticeships, contact your local Apprenticeship Network provider or call the Australian Apprenticeships referral line on 13 38 73 or your local State or Territory Training Authority.