Understanding Employee Rights.

Its really important to know the rights of an employee and understand payroll.

Employment Myth : employers can pay young workers as ‘trainees’ or ‘apprentices’ without lodging any formal paperwork

Fact: Employers must negotiate and lodge a registered training contract for an employee in order to lawfully be able to pay trainee or apprentice rates. An employer cannot pay an employee trainee rates just because they are young or new to the job.

Understanding Apprentices & Trainees

Apprenticeships and traineeships are types of formal training arrangements that combine work with study for a qualification. These arrangements have to be registered with an appropriate state or territory training authority. Timeframes for registering apprentices varies from State to State. The period before the registration date can also count towards the apprenticeship.

As well as working with and receiving on the job training from an employer, apprentices and trainees will have to attend a registered training organisation (RTO), such as a TAFE or trade school.

The differences between apprenticeships and traineeships

The type of qualification that you want and the industry you want to work in will determine whether you need to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship.


Apprenticeships allow you to study for a trade qualification, for example as a carpenter, chef or hairdresser. It will take approximately 3-4 years to complete an apprenticeship.


Traineeships allow you to study for a certificate qualification to work in a particular industry or occupation, for example office work, childcare or information technology. It will take approximately 1-2 years to complete a traineeship.

Who can undertake apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships can be done on a full-time or part-time basis by anyone who is old enough to work.

You can complete an apprenticeship or traineeship with a new employer or you can talk to your current employer about starting one.

An adult apprentice or trainee is someone who starts their apprenticeship or traineeship when they are 21 years old or older.

High school students can also do a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship, which combines work, training and secondary education.

Apprenticeships and traineeships can’t be done on a casual basis.

Pay and entitlements

For information on apprentice and trainee visit Fair Work below:

Ending apprenticeships and traineeships

When an apprenticeship or traineeship is complete, you will need to talk to your employee about whether they will continue to work for you once their training is over.

An apprentice or trainee gets notice of termination, unless they’re:

  • employed for a set period of time or task, or
  • fired for serious misconduct.

It can help to look at an employee’s employment contract to see if they’ve been employed for a set period of time or task.

The information above it provided by the Fair Work Ombudsman.  As an employer, you can find important information about employing someone.


Need help?  Contact us at Recruit Personnel:  www.recruitpersonnel.com.au