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Version 5
November 2018
Suspension of a registered training contract (PDF, 152 KB)

Information to get started

During an apprenticeship or traineeship there may be times when the employer and/or apprentice or trainee may not be able to carry out their obligations under the training contract for a short period of time. To avoid cancellation and recommencement of a training contract, the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training allows a training contract to be temporarily suspended.

Suspending a training contract allows the employer and apprentice or trainee to temporarily suspend the responsibilities associated with the training contract. There are a number of reasons why a suspension period may happen, such as:

  • seasonal employment
  • apprentice or trainee chooses a gap or study year outside of the apprenticeship or traineeship
  • long term illness
  • maternity or paternity arrangements.

Suspension of a training contract should not be used in place of stand down arrangements, which may be provided for in the relevant industrial instrument.

The maximum period that a training contract can be suspended for is 12 months per application.

The start date of the suspension cannot be less than 7 days from the date of application is given to your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider or the department.

The employer and apprentice or trainee must agree to the start and end dates of the proposed suspension and apply using the ATF-037 Suspension of a registered training contract form. If the apprentice or trainee is under 18, their parent or guardian (if appropriate) must also provide their signed consent on the form.

An approved suspension does not automatically suspend the employment relationship between the employer and apprentice or trainee. The employer and apprentice or trainee must determine whether employment will continue whilst the training contract is suspended, in accordance with the relevant industrial instrument and the Fair Work Act 2009.

While a training contract is suspended, the apprentice or trainee cannot attend training in the apprenticeship or traineeship delivered by their training organisation.

Withdrawal of consent

The employer and/or apprentice or trainee may withdraw their agreement to suspend the training contract. A parent or guardian's consent is also required if the person withdrawing is the apprentice or trainee and they are under the age of 18. The withdrawal notification must be in writing and received within 7 days after the application for suspension was received by the AASN provider or the department.

If the withdrawal of consent notification is received within the above timeframe, the application for suspension is taken to be withdrawn and the training contract remains active.

If withdrawal of consent is not received, the suspension will be confirmed in writing to all parties.

Notification of changes impacting the suspension period.

The parties must notify the AASN provider or the department, in writing, if there are any changes to the suspension period, such as an early return to the apprenticeship or traineeship or a change to ongoing employment that may impact the capacity to continue the training contract at the end of the suspension period.

End of suspension period

Once the suspension period has finished and the training contract is back in place, the employer, apprentice or trainee and training organisation must review and update the training plan as required.


The myApprenticeship self-service website allows apprentices and trainees to securely view details and initiate various tasks, such as suspension, relating to their apprenticeship or traineeship.

For further information


  • The nominated AASN provider. Registered apprentices and trainees can view their AASN provider in their myApprenticeship account if they are unsure.
  • Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210.
  • Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94, to discuss wages, entitlements and leave arrangements during a suspension of training contract approved under the Further Education and Training Act 2014.

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Last updated 28 November 2018

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)