Learn about support and other options to keep your apprentice or trainee employed and manage their training contract obligations through the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Financial assistance for employers
Use the COVID-19 business assistance finder to discover what support is available form the Queensland and Australian governments, plus Queensland local councils, which may assist in keeping your apprentice or trainee employed.
For further assistance, contact your Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider.
Unable to meet my training contract obligations
If you can't continue training your apprentice or trainee in your workplace:
- First, talk to your supervising registered training organisation about off-the-job training options, including any workbooks the apprentice or trainee could complete.
- Consider temporarily transferring the training contract to another employer. This cannot extend beyond 1 year or pass the nominal end date of the training contract.
If off-the-job training isn't an option and a transfer isn't possible, you and your apprentice or trainee (and, if applicable, their parent/guardian) can apply to your nominated AASN provider to suspend the training contract for up to 12 months.
The start date of the suspension cannot be less than 7 days from the date the application is given to your AASN provider. Suspending the training contract means you will continue to employ the apprentice or trainee but won't have to follow their training plan. If business conditions improve, their training can be resumed by reviewing the training plan and updating it if required. The nominal completion date for the training contract will be extended by the length of time it was suspended.
Other options are:
- a temporary suspension of a registered training contract by employer (up to 30 days)
- a suspension of a registered training contract (by one party) – this is only used where a party is not in a position to discuss, agree, or provide informed consent to a proposed suspension (e.g. apprentice or trainee is in quarantine or hospital due to COVID).
Not enough work for my apprentices or trainees
Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (s. 524-525) you may be able to stand down an employee because your business cannot reasonably be held responsible for the stoppage of work due to COVID-19.
You won't have to pay your employee/s while they are stood down but you should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 for information about their specific industrial instrument, particularly if the period they are stood down includes any public holidays.
Cancelling my apprentice's or trainee's training contract
If you and your apprentice or trainee agree, you can submit the ATF-034 Cancel a registered training contract (by all parties) form to your nominated AASN provider.
You or the training organisation should let the apprentice or trainee know they may be eligible for funding to continue their off-the-job training while they look for a new employer to hire them as an apprentice or trainee. If they are eligible they can apply for assistance for cancelled apprentices and trainees. They may still be responsible for a student contribution with their training organisation.