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Apprentices and trainees

If you employ apprentices and/or trainees

If you hire any apprentices and/or trainees – even if you only hire one – you must be registered for WorkCover Insurance in place, regardless of the size of your rateable remuneration.

Some apprentice/trainee remuneration is exempt from WorkCover Insurance and for that reason it is important that you are aware of certain restrictions and qualifications that apply.

Remuneration is exempt if the apprentice and/or trainee:

  • is an apprentice or trainee within the meaning of the Education & Training Reform Act 2006; and 
  • has entered into an authorised training agreement with an employer; and
  • has not worked for their current or a 'former employer' for the two year period prior to the commencement of the training agreement unless all the following conditions are met:
    • it was for no more than 12 months in total
    • it was for no more than 3 months full-time
    • if the person worked under a previous training agreement with their current or a 'former employer', then the gap between the current agreement and the previous agreement must be less than three months.

Apprentice and trainee remuneration is made exempt under Ministerial Declaration. This Declaration is available in the Government Gazette of 9 June 2016 (General Gazette 23), on page 1376 

Trainee remuneration threshold

A cap has been placed on trainee remuneration that means you can only claim an exemption for your trainee's remuneration if it is:

  • $36,070 or less in 2010/11;
  • $38,520 or less in 2011/12;
  • $39,870 or less in 2012/13;
  • $40,920 or less in 2013/14;
  • $42,540 or less in 2014/15 and 2015/16; and
  • $42,920 or less in 2016/17.

If your trainee's annualised remuneration was more than this amount none of their remuneration would be exempt.

If your trainee's annualised remuneration for 2016/17 is $42,920 or less, all existing rules (noted previously) must still be met to claim an exemption.

This rule does not apply to apprentices you may engage, there is no exemption threshold on apprentice remuneration.

For a list of apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications that this relates to please visit the Department of Education website at

Further information