Am I required to pay a trainee to attend training?

Do you know whether or not you are required to pay a trainee to attend training? If you employee trainees, it’s important to¬†understand your employer obligations. We recently received this question.

“We employ a trainee and they are required to attend a tertiary facility to undertake regular training. Are we required to pay them for the time spent at this training? Also, this team member works with us for 21 hours per week. Does time at training count towards their weekly hours?”

So, what is the answer? Allow us to break it down.

Yes, you are required to pay a trainee to attend training. The fact is, you must pay a trainee for time spent in formal training for their role.

Fair Work advises that an employee may need to complete formal or informal training to make sure they have the right skills and knowledge to perform their job. This can include on-the-job training, online or formal training courses, or team training.

If an employee has to do training as part of their job, you must pay them for those hours worked.

With regards to hours. It is up to you whether hours spent at training count towards or are in addition to the employee’s normal hours. Just ensure you discuss this with the employee and make expectations clear.

Need some help understanding your employer obligations with trainees? Get in touch with Lisa at or Nick at, or call (07) 46383599.