Hairdressing Fairwork Update

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Hairdressing apprentice initiative

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Marjorie Milner College, Hairdressing Department, aims to assist employers and apprentices in the Hairdressing Industry. There has been a new website developed by Fair Work that can help employers regarding the rights and responsibilities associated with employing apprentices. We have linked some information below from Fair Work but please click on the link for more details:

Starting an apprenticeship can be an exciting time – Hairdressing FairWork Update

We also understand the unique challenges that can come with starting an apprenticeship. We’re here to help employers and new apprentices in the hairdressing industry to get it right and to get the most out of your apprenticeship relationship.  First year hairdressing apprentices and their employers can find information on this page about:


Pay rates

Pay rates under the Hair and Beauty Award for apprentices start at $10.06 for juniors and $16.10 for adults.

These rates apply from 1 July 2015 and can vary depending on:

  • when the apprentice started
  • if the apprentice finished year 12
  • if the apprentice has completed a pre-apprenticeship
  • if the apprentice was an adult or junior when they started the apprenticeship, an adult being someone who is 21 years or over.

The pay rate above is for an apprentice who hasn’t completed year 12 at high school and started their apprenticeship after 1 January 2014.

Download the Hair and Beauty Pay Guide to see what pay rate applies to you based on the factors above.


Apprentices also get higher pay rates for hours worked on weekends, public holidays or overtime. For example, a hairdressing apprentice working on Saturday would be entitled to an extra 33% of their pay.

Our Hair and Beauty Pay Guide can give you these rates as well for your apprenticeship.

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Pay slips

Pay slips need to be given to all employees within 1 working day of pay day – even if the employee is on leave.

Pay slips can be given either electronically (ie. via email) or in hard copy.

Certain information needs to be put on a pay slip, including the pay period, the amount (both gross and net) and any penalty rates that apply.

For more information:

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Hours of work and breaks

A full-time employee gets the following number of breaks, depending on the hours they actually work (not their rostered hours).

Number of hours worked Rest breaks Meal breaks
Less than 5 hours 0 0
5 or more hours 2 1

Rest break: 10 minute paid break that counts as time worked.

Meal break: 45-60 minute unpaid break that doesn’t count as time worked. An employer and employee can agree to a 30 minute unpaid meal break.

For more information about hours of work and breaks, visit our Breaks page and select ‘hair and beauty’ as your industry.

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Ending employment and notice

When starting an apprenticeship, the employer and apprentice should talk about whether the apprentice will stay on at the salon when the apprenticeship is completed. It’s important to talk about your intentions early on because it could determine whether an apprentice gets notice of termination.

A notice period is the length of time that an employee or employer has to give to end employment.

An apprentice will have to give or get notice of termination when they’re quitting or if they’re fired unless they’re:

If an apprentice is only going to be employed for the time of their apprenticeship they won’t get notice of termination when it ends.

It can help to look at an employee’s employment contract to see if they’ve been employed for a set period of time or task.

Use our Hairdressing Assist tool to find out all you need to know about managing ending employment in the hairdressing industry.

you can also use our Notice and Redundancy Calculator to check notice periods or visit the following pages for more information about ending employment:

You should also check with your Registered Training Organisation and your state or territory training authority to find out what else you need to do to formally end your training contract.

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Unpaid work

Apprentices have to be paid for all the time they’ve worked, including:

  • time worked at the salon
  • opening and closing the salon
  • compulsory out-of-hours activities (eg. on-site training or meetings)
  • off-the-job training related to the training contract (eg. at a Registered Training Organisation).

School-based apprentices get paid differently for time spent in training. Find out more on Apprentice entitlements page by selecting the ‘hair and beauty’ industry.

In the hair and beauty industry, unpaid work arrangements typically include:

  • work trials – testing a person’s job skills
  • work experience – giving a person experience in a job or industry as part of a vocational placement.

There are rules about when unpaid work is allowed and when someone should be getting paid.

To find out more about unpaid work in the hairdressing industry, download our Unpaid work – hair and beauty industry fact sheet Unpaid work – hair and beauty industry fact sheet.

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Other apprentice entitlements

Visit the Apprentice entitlements page and select ‘hair and beauty’ from the industry list to find out about other entitlements including:

  • pay increases during an apprenticeship
  • payment for overtime and shiftwork
  • reimbursements for training costs such as fees and textbooks
  • payments for certain travel costs to and from training.

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Why hairdressing apprentices?

In 2014 we reviewed workplace law challenges in the hairdressing industry. We found the most common workplace issues in this industry are the topics covered on this page. We’ve put together this package of information to educate and help employers and employees to start off on the right foot by getting these things right early on in the apprentice relationship.

What are we doing about it?

Around 4,900 people start a hair and beauty apprenticeship every year in Australia and we want to help them understand workplace laws that apply to them.

During this initiative we’re:

  • helping employers, registered training organisations and apprentices understand their rights and responsibilities
  • contacting employers and checking they’re:
    • keeping the right records
    • paying correct wages and entitlements
  • asking employers to fix any errors we find.

Privacy statement

If you’ve been contacted by us and directed to this webpage, you’re part of a hairdressing project focused on first year apprentice hairdressers and their employers.

We’ve collected your name and contact details from the Department of Education and Training. We’ve collected this information so that we can contact you early in the apprenticeship cycle to provide tailored education and resources. We will not disclose the information we have collected to third parties.

We have a privacy policy that contains information about how you can access the personal information we hold about you and how you can have that information corrected if you think it’s wrong or out of date. This policy also contains information about how you can provide feedback about the handling of your personal information.

Why hairdressers?

In 2014, the FWO reviewed workplace challenges in the hairdressing industry. Common areas of concern include wage underpayments, unpaid training and record-keeping.

We want to make a difference in this industry and recognise that employers and employees sometimes don’t know where to go to find information about pay and conditions. We understand businesses can be  ‘time poor’ and apprentices keen for easy access to information.

What are we doing?

The focus of the initiative is to educate employers and first year apprentices in the hairdressing industry about their rights and obligations in relation to workplace laws, with an emphasis on helping new apprentices and their employers ‘get it right’ from the start of the relationship. Our research supports that employers want professional apprentices who take their apprenticeship seriously and see it as a first step in a career.  We understand employees often enter into a hairdressing apprenticeship because they feel a passion for the industry, and don’t always feel comfortable raising concerns with a boss who they may also consider a friend.

The FWO is here to help employers and new apprentices in the hairdressing industry get the most out of their apprenticeship.

During this initiative we are:

  • Helping employers, registered training organisations and apprentices understand their rights and responsibilities;
  • Contacting employers and employees and providing access to free online resources;
  • Launching a social media communications campaign on Monday 29 February to coincide with this initiative. This campaign taps into the concerns of industry participants as demonstrated by research we have commissioned into the industry.

The FWO is contacting parties by phone, email and text message to spread the message and also provide access to our free resources.

How you can be involved?

The FWO is reaching out to a number of hairdressing industry participants, including the TAFE network, to be involved in this initiative.

Please find attached some flyers and below pictures of flyers that have been developed as part of this initiative to encourage employers or apprentices to contact the FWO if they need help, and promote the online resources developed specifically for the hairdressing industry.

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