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Pay & Conditions Information

Employers are responsible for meeting their industrial relations requirements for all staff, and should be aware of the consequences of not meeting these obligations.

Apprentices and trainees may be subject to different wages and other requirements compared with other employees. It is important that employers become familiar with the rules and regulations that apply to their apprentices and trainees.

The Fair Work Ombudsman and Australian Apprenticeships Support Network providers will be able to assist employers understand their requirements when taking on an Australian Apprentice.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has information and resources for organisations employing apprentices and trainees

Fair Work

Pay Rates

Apprentice and trainee pay rates are contained in enterprise agreements or modern awards. Only apprentices and trainees that have a state or territory training authority approved training contract can be paid an apprentice or trainee pay rate.

Apprentices can incur pay increases in two main ways: Time-based or competency-based. It is important that employers monitor an apprentice’s progression and the effect it can have on pay rates. Changes to wage rates set by the Fair Work Commission may also effect wages.

Where an existing employee is converted to be an apprentice or trainee, in some cases the relevant agreement or award may require that their pay rate does not change from their existing rate.

The Fair Work Ombudsman website has handy tools, such as the pay calculator, and updates on any changes to base rates and changes in awards such as flexible work arrangements. The account section can be used to save information specific to your workplace, and to receive notifications of changes when they occur.

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for full details.

Modern Awards

There is a modern award to cover every industry sector. Generally, employers in the private sector are subject to the conditions in the relevant modern award.

If you are in Western Australia and your business is not incorporated you may be covered by a state award.

Under the Modern Award an apprentice or trainee is classified as an employee who has a formal training contract in place with their employer. The training contract must be approved by a state or territory training authority.

Modern Awards are divided into sections covering various areas such as: pay rates including classifications, allowances and overtime; ordinary hours of work; and public holidays. 

They will include a section on apprenticeships and traineeships if they are relevant to the industry. This may cover areas such as eligibility for allowances, overtime, release for training, payment of related training fees/costs and competency based pay progression.

Modern awards may also provide detail on the National Training Wage and employment of school-based apprentices and trainees.

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for full details.

Period of probation

Apprenticeships and traineeships include a probation period, the same as other employees. Information about probation is held in awards or may be proclaimed by state governments.

Apprentices and trainees will also have a probation period assigned to the approved training contract which is generally either one or three months, and this period may vary for part-time employees. An Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider or Group Training Organisation can advise on this information.

Australian Apprenticeships

Australian Apprenticeships

Managed by the Australian Government, the Australian Apprenticeships website provides information and resources for employers considering taking on an apprentice or trainee, or who already employ apprentices and trainees.

Visit the website