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  • Writer's picturePhong Trac

Do I Need to Pay My Staff for Training?

Sometimes we see directors and approved providers asking questions around paying employees for time spent training.

On the surface, it's a very simple question with a very simple answer.

"If an employee has to do training as part of their job, they have to be paid the right pay for those hours worked." - Fair Work

To avoid a call from Fair Work, I thought I'd just delve a little deeper into the relationship between training, other kinds of work and pay, because there are some instances where it's not as clear cut.

When Should Employees Be Paid for Their Time?

To elaborate on Fair Work, employees should be paid for any time they spend working. That includes:

  • Training

  • In team meetings

  • Opening and closing the business

Even if these things happen online or at home, they still have to be paid.

So if you're conducting training outside of regular working hours, you need to compensate your employees for their time. And it needs to be at the correct rate.

Weekends = weekend rates.

Overtime = overtime rates.

Just like any shift, employees need to be remunerated correctly for their time. Unfortunately, shouting lunch isn't enough.

When Do I Not Need to Pay Employees for Training?

There are a couple of occasions where you don't need to pay employees for their time training. They may seem obvious, but let's go through them just to clarify.

Optional Training

If an employee decides to take on their own professional development, they don't need to be paid.

Only compulsory time, required by the business, needs to be paid.

Qualifications Required for the Role

If an employee needs to complete a qualification to do their job (i.e. cert III), you don't need to pay them for their time spent completing the qualification. Of course, you can still choose to do so, but there is no legal requirement.

And just to clarify this - a 'requirement' is a legal requirement, not a business one. Whilst an educator may need to be trained on the centre's philosophy or practices, this is not a requirement by the standards of Fair Work, so must be remunerated.

Where To Go From Here?

If you're still unsure about any of the potential issues surrounding training, meetings, payment and employment, please contact Fair Work. The last thing you want is punishment for breaking the rules.

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