As a new apprentice, you are going to learn a lot from many different sources. With so much competing information out there, it is important to ensure you have the right details – especially when it comes to your rights. We want to protect your rights because it is critical to the success of your work that you are paid correctly and kept safe by your employer.
Basic Rights For Apprentices
Before we even get started on anything like pay amounts, let’s cover the basics. You, like every other employee, are entitled to:
- A safe working environment with safe and adequate supervision
- Toilet breaks and access to amenities like a lunchroom
- Public holidays off from work
- Be able to join a union without fear of being fired or punished
- Regular pay including sick leave and holiday pay
You also have access to certain rights that are specific to your position. For example, you are entitled to receive regular training that takes into consideration your experience and abilities. You should be paid for any training you have to undertake.
You should not be treated any differently from your peers just because you are an apprentice or trainee. You might get some gentle and good-natured ribbing from time to time, but if this is distressing or turns into nastiness or aggression, you can report this to your employer.
Pay For Apprentices
Just because you are an apprentice, it does not mean that you should not be paid regularly, and in an appropriate way for your position. You should have any workplace training costs covered or reimbursed.
This reimbursement should include any money that you pay for travelling to or from the training. You will need to be provided with the equipment or clothing that you need for work and/or reimbursed if you have to pay for them yourself.
You will also need to be paid a wage for your work and will receive an annual increase in your salary as you improve in your skills.
When you sign up as an apprentice, you will need to fulfil certain obligations. This is to ensure you are meeting your requirements for training and for the conditions of your employment. You will be expected to:
- Sign a training contract that outlines your rights and responsibilities of work
- Commit to your working conditions and work diligently to fulfil them
- Work safely and responsibly with respect to yourself and others
- Use reason and good judgement at work to stay safe
Your training contract will also need to be signed your employer, your parent or guardian (if you are under 18 years of age). Your training contract will outline things like your hours of work, your payment rate, the kind of training you will need to take part in and any other conditions or details that are relevant.
You will be on a probation period for three months, in which time either you or your employer can cancel your training with them.
Once you are off probation, your training contract can only be cancelled if both parties agree to end it.
What To Do If You Are Not Being Treated Fairly
In rare cases, an employer will not treat an apprentice as they should. If this is the case with you, then you need to get in touch with us. We are contactable on 13 18 30, and we can discuss your next steps, including making a complaint to Fair Work.
Your safety and security are the most important things to us, so don’t be afraid about letting us know if your employer is not treating you as they should.
For more information about apprentice rights and responsibilities, check out our blog.