The Federal Court this week upheld a Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision that apprentices in Queensland should have been paid at the federal award rate and not the lower state-based award since 1 January 2014.
It’s estimated that several thousand apprentices were underpaid by some employers and may be entitled to claim back pay for this period.
MIGAS Apprentices and Trainees Managing Director, Mr Rod Margetts, said the decision does not impact apprentices employed by MIGAS.
“MIGAS made the right decision to pay all apprentices at the federal award rate when it was first introduced – and well before it was a legal requirement to do so,” Mr Margetts said.
“We did this because we believe in fair pay and conditions for all apprentices, as do our clients, who host MIGAS apprentices and trainees in their respective workplaces. It’s also why MIGAS has one of the highest completion rates of apprentices in Queensland, at 70%.
“It’s an absolute credit to employers who are working with us to future proof Australia’s skilled workforce by placing real value in supporting apprentices from commencement through to successful completion,” he said.
Mr Margetts added the upheld decision will likely impact some Queensland employers that have been underpaying apprentices and may be required to compensate them.
Those apprentices who believe they are entitled to a wage claim should contact their respective employers.
About MIGAS Apprentices and Trainees
MIGAS is a not-for-profit organisation that has been recruiting, employing and mentoring apprentices and trainees in the traditional skilled trades since 1988. MIGAS has national footprint and provides apprentice employments services to industry employers across metropolitan, regional and remote Australia.