Wages, some entitlements and wage progression are managed by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) who can be contacted on 13 13 94.
Employers are responsible for ensuring apprentices and trainees are paid correctly in accordance with the relevant award and the most up-to-date changes. Employers should take into account any award clauses relating to competency-based training and conditions of progression.
Before calling the Fair Work Ombudsman
- Apprentices and trainees can use the online pay calculator to determine wages, allowances and penalty rates.
- Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman's YouTube channel for some helpful videos on a variety of topics, including 5 hot tips on the rights and responsibilities of apprentices and trainees, and workplace myths busted.
- Before you contact the FWO, prepare for the phone call by checking what information you may need.
Paying apprentices and trainees for time spent training
Apprentices and trainees (may not apply to school-based) must be released from work, without loss of pay, to attend their off-the-job training with the training organisation. The ATIS-036 Paying apprentices and trainees for time spent undertaking supervised registered training and assessment information sheet provides further details.
Conditions of employment
- Workers' compensation – apprentices and trainees are entitled to workers' compensation in the same way as other employees. Contact WorkCover Queensland on 1300 362 128.
- Superannuation – apprentices and trainees are entitled to super contributions from their employer, just like other employees. The employer should provide the appropriate paperwork upon commencement. Visit the Australian Taxation Office website for more information.
- Tool entitlement – for some apprenticeships, the employer must provide tools or pay a tool entitlement to the apprentice. Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.
- Industrial action – both the Queensland Industrial Relations Act 2016 and Commonwealth Fair Work Act 2009 treat apprentices and trainees as employees. Therefore apprentices and trainees are free to choose whether or not to become a member of a union and whether or not to participate in lawful industrial action.
Safety in the workplace
Every person associated with a workplace has an obligation to ensure their own, and others', workplace health and safety, regardless of their role(s).
Employers have an obligation to ensure the workplace health and safety of all their employees, including apprentices and trainees, by providing workplace inductions, personal protective equipment and controlling risks of injury and disease to their employees.
Employees (including apprentices and trainees) have a responsibility to comply with all instructions given by their employer and not wilfully, or recklessly, place anyone in the workplace at risk or misuse/interfere with anything provided for workplace health and safety.
Contact Workplace Health and Safety on 1300 362 128 to discuss workplace health and safety. This also includes the Electrical Safety Office for employers in the electrical industry.
Supervision in the workplace
Apprentices and trainees must be supervised in the workplace by an appropriately qualified person.
Strict supervision requirements are placed on employers of electrical apprentices and trainees. Contact the Electrical Safety Office on 1300 362 128 for specific details.
Apprentices and trainees who feel they are not being properly supervised should contact Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210 immediately.