New Rights & Obligations Guides for Employers and Apprentices
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Fairwork Ombudsman AustraliaTwo new Guides just released by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) are essential reading for the employer with an apprentice or considering taking one on and the second guide, for all apprentices to understand their rights and obligations.

They’re available online at:

Why the Employers Fair Work Guide is important to Employers

Taking on an apprentice can be a great investment for your business and it provides you with the opportunity to train and mentor the next generation of bricklayers.  It’s also an important decision for your business because it comes with responsibilities.  The Fair Work Ombudsman Guide helps you understand your obligations and will get your apprentice started on the right track.  Well-trained and mentored apprentices can lift the apprenticeship completion success rate from 50% in bricklaying to up to 90% who finish – that’s good for your business.  Taking a few simple planning steps before you employ them will mean you make better hiring decisions, saving time and money in the long run. In addition, the ‘Hiring employees’ online learning course has interactive activities, templates and checklists to help you through these steps – and its free.  ABBTF is also here to help with work-ready trained apprentices.  Call them on 1300 66 44 96.

Why the Apprentices Fair Work Guide is important to Apprentices

It is vitally important that apprentices understand their rights and entitlements as they commence and proceed through the apprenticeship.  You should be equipped with the information you need to resolve potential workplace issues and know how to seek support.  Because of age and limited work experience, Fair Work understands that many apprentices are vulnerable in the workplace.  “Despite accounting for less than three per cent of the Australian workforce, apprentices make up a disproportionately high amount of dispute lodgements with my agency, at seven per cent,” said Natalie James of Fair Work.

The results of the FWO’s National Apprenticeship Campaign, released in March this year, showed that one in three businesses audited failed to pay their apprentices correct wages.  The campaign led to the FWO recovering $339,433 for 323 workers.  The FWO also issued 54 formal cautions, seven compliance notices and five infringement notices.  Refer also to recent blogs: Crushing the Myths which can lead to underpaying young workers.

ABBTF supports bricklayers and apprentices in understanding the rights and obligations of each party.  Our summary of Fair Work’s Quick Quiz Questions is a great starting point when looking to resolve issues but your main contact is the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or fairwork.gov.au

Brendan Coyle
ABBTF Regional Manager

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