Wages and conditions
The Department of Education, Training and Employment does not have any authority over wages and entitlements for apprentices and trainees. Wages, some entitlements and wage progression are managed by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Apprentices and trainees can use the Fair Work Ombudsman's online calculator to determine their wages, allowances and penalty rates. Further questions can be directed to the Fair Work Ombudsman by phoning 13 13 94 or visiting their website.
Before you call
To make sure you get the correct information, check out the before you call checklist provided by Fair Work. This checklist is aimed at apprentices, trainees and employers.
Being paid for off-the-job training
Apprentices and trainees (except school-based) must be released from work and 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 training and assessment information sheet confirms this and other details.
Australian Government assistance
The Australian Government provides assistance for apprentices and trainees, including:
- financial assistance to those meeting the eligibility criteria
- tutorial assistance, interpreter and mentor services.
Contact your Australian Apprenticeships Centre or 13 38 73 for more information.
Apprentices and trainees may also be eligible for Youth Allowance or a similar assistance. As part of this assistance, they may be eligible for the health care card that may entitle them to a reduction in some of the costs of their training. Phone Centrelink on 13 24 90, or visit the Centrelink office in the local area, for more information.
Conditions of employment
- Workers compensation - Apprentices and trainees are entitled to workers' compensation in the same way as other employees. Phone WorkCover Queensland on 1300 362 128.
- Superannuation - Employers must pay superannuation into an approved fund for apprentices and trainees, as they would for any other employee. The employer should provide the apprentice or trainee with the appropriate superannuation paperwork on commencement. If the apprentice or trainee is under 18 years of age and not working more than 30 hours a week, the employer may not need to pay superannuation.
- Tool entitlement - For some apprenticeships, the employer must provide tools or pay a tool entitlement to the apprentice. Phone the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.
Both the Queensland Industrial Relations Act 1999 and Commonwealth Fair Work Act 2009 treat apprentices and trainees as employees. As a result, apprentices and trainees are free to choose whether or not to become a member of a union and are also free to choose whether or not to participate in lawful industrial action.
Lawful industrial action could be protected or allowed by legislation or an individual instrument. It may also be where there is a imminent risk to the apprentice or trainee's health and safety.