Hairdressing apprentice initiative

Starting an apprenticeship can be an exciting time. We also understand the unique challenges that can come with starting an apprenticeship.

We're here to help employers and new apprentices in the hairdressing industry to get it right and to get the most out of your apprenticeship relationship.

Pay rates

Pay rates under the Hair and Beauty Award for apprentices start at $13.09 for juniors and $20.95 for adults.

These rates apply from 1 July 2023 and can vary depending on:

  • when the apprentice started
  • if the apprentice finished year 12
  • if the apprentice has completed a pre-apprenticeship
  • if the apprentice was an adult or junior when they started the apprenticeship, an adult being someone who is 21 years or over.

The pay rate above is for an apprentice who hasn’t completed year 12 at high school and started their apprenticeship after 1 January 2014.

Download the Hair and Beauty Pay Guide (DOCX) | PDF to see what pay rate applies to you based on the factors above.

Weekends, Public holidays and Overtime

Apprentices also get higher pay rates for hours worked on weekends, public holidays or overtime. For example, a hairdressing apprentice working on Saturday would be entitled to an extra 33% of their pay.

Our Hair and Beauty Pay Guide can give you these rates as well for your apprenticeship.

Pay slips

Pay slips need to be given to all employees within 1 working day of pay day - even if the employee is on leave.

Pay slips can be given either electronically (ie. via email) or in hard copy.

Certain information needs to be put on a pay slip, including the pay period, the amount (both gross and net) and any penalty rates that apply.

For more information:

Hours of work and breaks

A full-time employee gets the following number of breaks, depending on the hours they actually work (not their rostered hours).

Number of hours workedRest breaksMeal breaks
Less than 5 hours00
5 or more hours21

Rest break: 10 minute paid break that counts as time worked.

Meal break: 45 to 60 minute unpaid break that doesn't count as time worked. An employer and employee can agree to a 30 minute unpaid meal break.

For more information about hours of work and breaks, visit our Breaks page and select 'hair and beauty' as your industry.


Learn about the types of leave employees, including apprentices, are entitled to, how to request leave, how leave accrues and what employees are paid when on leave on the following pages:

Calculate annual leave using our Leave Calculator.

For downloadable leave application templates and leave record templates, visit our Templates page.

Ending employment and notice

When starting an apprenticeship, the employer and apprentice should talk about whether the apprentice will stay on at the salon when the apprenticeship is completed. It’s important to talk about your intentions early on because it could determine whether an apprentice gets notice of termination.

A notice period is the length of time that an employee or employer has to give to end employment.

An apprentice will have to give or get notice of termination when they’re quitting or if they’re fired unless they're:

If an apprentice is only going to be employed for the time of their apprenticeship they won't get notice of termination when it ends.

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.

You can also use our Notice and Redundancy Calculator to check notice periods or visit the following pages for more information about ending employment:

You should also check with your Registered Training Organisation and your state or territory training authority to find out what else you need to do to formally end your training contract.

Unpaid work

Apprentices have to be paid for all the time they've worked, including:

  • time worked at the salon
  • opening and closing the salon
  • compulsory out-of-hours activities (eg. on-site training or meetings)
  • off-the-job training related to the training contract (eg. at a Registered Training Organisation).

School-based apprentices get paid differently for time spent in training. Find out more on Apprentice entitlements page by selecting the ‘hair and beauty’ industry.

In the hair and beauty industry, unpaid work arrangements typically include:

  • work trials - testing a person's job skills
  • work experience - giving a person experience in a job or industry as part of a vocational placement.

There are rules about when unpaid work is allowed and when someone should be getting paid.

To find out more about unpaid work in the hairdressing industry, download our Unpaid work - hair and beauty industry fact sheet Unpaid work - hair and beauty industry fact sheet.

Other apprentice entitlements

Visit the Apprentice entitlements page and select ‘hair and beauty’ from the industry list to find out about other entitlements including:

  • pay increases during an apprenticeship
  • payment for overtime and shiftwork
  • reimbursements for training costs such as fees and textbooks
  • payments for certain travel costs to and from training.

Why hairdressing apprentices?

In 2014 we reviewed workplace law challenges in the hairdressing industry. We found the most common workplace issues in this industry are the topics covered on this page. We’ve put together this package of information to educate and help employers and employees to start off on the right foot by getting these things right early on in the apprentice relationship.

What are we doing about it?

Around 4,900 people start a hair and beauty apprenticeship every year in Australia and we want to help them understand workplace laws that apply to them.

During this initiative we're:

  • helping employers, registered training organisations and apprentices understand their rights and responsibilities
  • contacting employers and checking they're:
    • keeping the right records
    • paying correct wages and entitlements
  • asking employers to fix any errors we find.

Privacy statement

If you’ve been contacted by us and directed to this webpage, you’re part of a hairdressing project focused on first year apprentice hairdressers and their employers.

We’ve collected your name and contact details from the Department of Education and Training. We’ve collected this information so that we can contact you early in the apprenticeship cycle to provide tailored education and resources. We will not disclose the information we have collected to third parties.

We have a privacy policy that contains information about how you can access the personal information we hold about you and how you can have that information corrected if you think it’s wrong or out of date. This policy also contains information about how you can provide feedback about the handling of your personal information.

For more information, visit our Privacy page.