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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted January 16, 2017

Despite all your best efforts as an employer, and despite following all the advice we have given you over the past couple of months, sometimes it just doesn’t work out between your business and your apprentice. Sometimes they just aren’t the right fit for your team or aren’t the right personality for the rigours of the industry – it happens, and while all efforts should be made to avoid this situation, sometimes you may need to cancel an apprenticeship.


But how do you go about it?


The apprenticeship contract can be cancelled by either yourself or the apprentice before the end date of the agreement. If the apprenticeship is still within the probation period, everyone can part ways with only a one week’s notice period, done and dusted.


But if the apprenticeship has gone past the probation period, you can request a cancellation in the instance where:

  • your business stops operating
  • there is a significant change to your business circumstances and you are no longer able to fulfil your obligations; or
  • your apprentice is guilty of misconduct


An accusation of misconduct is not something to be taken lightly, but it has happened before. Misconduct is quite specifically outlined in the award, and includes –

  • being absent from work without consent
  • not attending or participating in training as required
  • causing serious damage or risk to your business, reputation or other staff members
  • theft, assault or fraud
  • being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work


If any of these incidents above have occurred, then it is best for your business to request a cancellation of the apprenticeship. If you are able to reach a mutual agreement with the apprentice to end the contract, that is often the most amicable way to go about this often emotionally-charged time. Both you and the apprentice need to complete and sign a cancellation form from your local apprenticeship centre (there is a different form for each State/Territory). To formally end the apprenticeship employment, HABA have created a template termination letter or unsuccessful probation letter for you to amend and provide to your former apprentice.


If you can’t reach a mutual agreement to cancellation, each state or territory has its own procedures, which can include a tribunal or intermediaries. You will need to contact your local apprenticeship center for more specialised information in this instance.


You have some alternatives to cancelling the apprenticeship that might work better if the apprentice just isn’t right for your team. You can arrange to have the apprentice transferred to another employer or salon, a great solution if you have simply run out of work in your business.


Bringing an apprentice into your business and training that person up into our industry can be one of the most rewarding things you can do as an employer. However, it is important to protect yourself in the instance that the situation simply stops working for your business, the apprentice or your team. Knowing what your rights, options and solutions are in the instance of an apprenticeship cancellation are key to ensuring that the situation is resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible.  If you require more information, please call Hair and Beauty Australia on 02 9221 9911 or your local Apprenticeship Centre.


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