Employing apprentices can be great for your business, as well as helping train up an Australian worker. It’s important that you keep abreast of all the legal requirements related to employing apprentices, and this article will help you do just that!
1. Working Conditions when Employing Apprentices
In general, the conditions of employment for apprentices are similar to those of other employees who have similar role. Hours of work, overtime, holidays, superannuation and parental and sick leave should all be the same as any employee working in a similar occupation. Check out our articles on these issues for more information.
2. Training Obligations
You are also required, however, to ensure that Apprentices benefit from a number of additional working conditions which ensure that they (i) get the best opportunity to learn the skills and acquire the knowledge of their trade, (ii) get access to structured training, (iii) get paid to attend training if necessary, (iv) enjoy a safe working environment.
3. Limitations on Numbers of Apprentices
There is no limit to the number of apprentices that you can employ.
4. Training Contracts
The Australian Apprenticeship system operates based on the employer and apprentice agreeing to a formal training agreement, or contract. This training agreement is designed to protect both the employer and the employee’s interests. The working conditions set out above need to be included in the training agreement, and the document needs to be registered with the relevant State or Territory Training Authority.
If you require further information on training agreements or employing apprentices you can contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network in your region or the State or Territory Training Authority in your State or Territory.
If you’re employing an apprentice for the first time it’s a good idea to work with a lawyer to draw up an appropriate training agreement and employee handbook that complies with all legislation.