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Resolving apprenticeship or traineeship issues​

From time to time you may need to resolve issues, disagreements or disputes with your employer. The good news is Traineeship and Apprenticeship Services (TAS) can help.

How it works

If there is a problem, a disagreement or a dispute between you and your employer, TAS consultants are available to provide impartial advice.

Call TAS and speak to an area consultant, or arrange a time for someone to meet with you and your employer.

See assistance and support for more information.

Next steps

  1. Try to resolve the issue in the workplace. Speak with your employer – outline the issue and the impact it’s having on you. 
  2. If talking hasn’t helped, contact TAS on 1800 673 097 to speak to an area consultant. The consultant will offer impartial advice and let all parties know of their obligations to each other under the law and options for resolving the matter. The consultant can also meet with you or your employer, or both.
  3. In cases where you have not been able to resolve the matter to your satisfaction, either party can lodge an application with the South Australian Industrial Relations Commission (SAIRC) Registry. 

SAIRC Registry
Street address: Level 6, Riverside Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide
Postal address: PO Box 8046, Station Arcade SA, 5000
Telephone: 8207 0999
Fax: 8207 0995
Email Address: IndustrialTribunals@sa.gov.au
Office hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm

You and your employer will be required to attend a conciliation conference where you both can discuss the issues with the assistance of a Commissioner. In most cases this will resolve the matter.

If there’s no outcome from the conciliation conference, your matter can be referred to arbitration. This means the decision on what will happen is made for you and your employer and it is final.

Office of the Training Advocate

The Office of the Training Advocate (OTA) provides confidential support and advice to all apprentices and trainees. It is a support service which can refer you to specialised help about your training both on and off-job.

You can remain anonymous when contacting the OTA.

Call the OTA or visit them at 55 Currie St, Adelaide. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5.30 pm.

Some important facts to remember when you have a dispute with your employer

  • For changes to occur to your training contract, there must be agreement between you and your employer. It is unlawful for any person to pressure or use unfair tactics to gain someone else’s agreement to a change.
  • Your employer must continue to provide you with work and training and your wages while there is a dispute; and you must continue attending training and work. These are your obligations under the training contract.
  • The only time these obligations may change is where an employer has reasonable grounds to believe you have displayed wilful and serious misconduct. 

Wilful and serious misconduct

If you do something that your employer considers as wilful and serious misconduct, your employer can suspend you for no more than seven working days

If this happens, your employer must notify the SAIRC Registry (contact details above) of the suspension immediately

The matter will be looked at by the SAIRC, usually within the suspension period, to resolve the matter quickly. 

You may not be paid during this period and your employer may also ask for the suspension period to be added to the term of your training contract.

The SAIRC may confirm, cancel or increase the suspension period.

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