Help is available to resolve problems or disputes with your apprentice or trainee.

For the most part, training is a positive experience for both employers and apprentices and trainees.

Occasionally, disagreements or disputes may arise between you and your apprentice or trainee.

Problems in a training contract are easier to resolve when they’re dealt with as soon as possible.

It’s important that employers try to resolve the issue with their apprentice directly before referring the matter further.

If you’re unable to resolve the matter with your apprentice, we can provide independent and impartial advice, and meet with you and your apprentice to help find a resolution.

To talk to a consultant, call the Infoline on 1800 673 097.

What you need to know

Changes to the training contract must be agreed by both parties – employer, apprentice (and parent/guardian if the apprentice is under 18 years). It’s unlawful for any person to pressure or use unfair tactics to gain agreement to a change.

During a dispute you continue to provide your apprentice with work, training and wages, and they continue attending training and work.

Suspension for misconduct

In rare circumstances, where you have reasonable grounds to believe an apprentice or trainee has committed wilful and serious misconduct, you may suspend an apprentice or trainee for up to seven working days.

Employers seeking to suspend for serious and wilful misconduct must notify the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) Registry of the suspension as soon as possible by telephone, email or fax:

Ph: (08) 8207 0999 (office hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm)
Fax: (08) 8115 1380

The SAET will conciliate the suspension usually within the suspension period to ensure it’s resolved quickly, the SAET may confirm, cancel or increase the suspension period.

Your apprentice or trainee may not be paid during this period and the suspension period will be added to the term of the training contract. If the SAET cancels the suspension the apprentice will need to be paid for the period.

Examples of behaviour that might be serious and wilful include theft, assault, or a serious breach of a workplace health and safety policy.

Help is available to employers to resolve problems involving misconduct.

For support, call the SAET on 8207 0999 or visit South Australian Employment Tribunal.


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