Dealing with problems
Business is slow
Should you temporarily be unable to provide the range of work required to train your apprentice or trainee, due to lack of work, business being slow or other factors, there are a number of options available. Read more on this on the ATIS-014 Employer temporarily unable to provide work information sheet.
It is recommended that you contact Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210 before pursuing any of the options.
I don't have a training plan for my apprentice or trainee
Every apprentice and trainee must have a training plan that outlines the training to be delivered by both the employer and the training organisation. The training plan should be negotiated and signed during the apprentice's or trainee's probationary period (that is, during the first 90 days for apprentices, or the first 30 days for trainees).
If you don't have a signed training plan, and your apprentice or trainee's probationary period has finished, you should talk to your training organisation, in the first instance, about the need to develop a training plan. If the training organisation is being unhelpful, phone Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210 for assistance.
My apprentice or trainee is failing to make reasonable progress
The training plan details competencies to be achieved and timeframes for achievement. Each apprentice or trainee will also be provided with a training record from the training organisation in which to document progress towards achievement of these competencies.
The training organisation is responsible for ensuring that the training required to be delivered under the apprentice's or trainee's training plan is delivered to the apprentice or trainee.
Read more on the ATIS-015 Failure to make reasonable progress information sheet.
I need to discipline my apprentice or trainee for misconduct
If your apprentice or trainee does not do the right thing, you can do something about it.
You should contact the department (via Apprenticeships Info) on 1800 210 210 before disciplinary action is taken if your apprentice or trainee:
- fails to carry out a reasonable and lawful instruction consistent with the training contract obligations
- is absent from work or fails to attend training without approval
- does not keep a training record, or fails to produce the training record on request
- makes unsatisfactory progress in their training
- causes serious damage, or risk of serious damage, to your business or business reputation.
The ATIS-012 Discipline information sheet has further information on misconduct.
I need to suspend or cancel my apprentice or trainee for serious misconduct
It is advisable that, before you take action to suspend an apprentice or trainee for serious misconduct, you contact the department through Apprenticeships Info on 1800 210 210 to discuss the matter. The process for managing suspension and cancellation for serious misconduct requires that specified actions be taken within strict timeframes.
An employer who has a training contract with an apprentice or trainee may immediately suspend the training contract for one day if the apprentice or trainee engages in serious misconduct and, because of that misconduct, the employer decides it is unreasonable to continue training the apprentice or trainee at that time.
The Vocational Education, Training and Employment Act 2000 defines serious misconduct as:
- theft, assault and/or fraud
- being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at work
- at work, causing imminent risk of serious bodily injury or work caused illness or a dangerous event occurring
- behaving at work in a way that is inconsistent with the continuation of a registered training contract.
The Department of Education, Training and Employment may confirm or refuse to confirm the suspension, and/or cancel or refuse to cancel the training contract.
Read more about the specific actions required in the case of suspension and cancellation on the ATIS-038 Serious misconduct information sheet.
I'm not happy with my Australian Apprenticeships Centre
Australian Apprenticeships Centres are required to fulfil a number of responsibilities as part of their contract with the Australian Government, including:
- providing general information on apprenticeships and traineeships
- providing information on available training organisations
- helping you complete and lodge the training contract
- providing advice on your eligibility for Australian Government incentives and allowances
- making regular contact with you and your apprentice or trainee to check on the progress of training.
If you wish to make a complaint, you should contact your Australian Apprenticeships Centre in the first instance, as they are required to have a complaint resolution process in place. If you have already been through this process, you may contact the Australian Apprenticeships Referral Line on 13 38 73.