Pay and entitlements for apprentices & trainees

Apprentices and trainees get the same minimum conditions as other employees, such as annual leave, personal leave and public holidays. Minimum wages will depend on whether your employee is undertaking an apprenticeship or a traineeship.


Minimum wages for your apprentices are a percentage of the rate paid to your full-time qualified employees. The percentage payable will depend on:

  • the year of the apprenticeship that your apprentice is currently undertaking
  • whether they started their apprenticeship before or after 1 January 2014
  • whether or not they have completed year 12.

See clause 19 of the Retail Award for more information.

There are different entitlements for adult apprentices.

You can use PayCheck Plus to help to calculate minimum wages, allowances and penalty rates for your apprentices.


You can use the Retail Trainee Wage Calculator to help you find minimum rates of pay for your trainees.

The trainee calculators provide rates of pay for the most common trainee scenarios. However, you shouldn’t use the calculators if:

  • the business was previously covered by a Transitional Award, a Division 2B State award, or the Queensland Order - Apprentices' and Trainees' Wages and Conditions
  • the trainee is doing a school-based traineeship
  • the trainee is doing a certificate 4 qualification.

If you are not sure whether the calculators apply to you, please Contact us.

Note: If an employee is not undertaking a recognised apprenticeship or traineeship, they must be paid at the relevant adult or junior rate. This also applies if they haven’t been properly signed up as an apprentice or trainee.

Best Practice Tip

Encourage your apprentice or trainee to keep a simple work diary to help them keep track of their shifts and pay. For each shift, they should record:

  • the day and date
  • starting and finishing times
  • any leave taken
  • meal breaks
  • the name of their supervisor.

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Page last updated: 03 Jan 2014