Workplace training outside of work hours

Most employees will be required to undertake workplace training to ensure they have the right skills and knowledge to perform their job.

This can include on or off-the-job training, online of face-to-face learning or individual or team-based training.

One of the common concerns our members share is that they are not being paid for training.

If an employee undertakes compulsory training as part of their job - even if outside of work hours - they have the right to be paid for this time. 

Recently one of our members discovered she should have been paid for compulsory training she had undertaken within her workplace.

Sandra works for a large retail company. The employer had changed systems, requiring all team members to undertaken training for 1.5 hours at the workplace.

Sandra was asked by management to come in early before her shift to complete the training. When Sandra asked if she could complete the training during her shift instead, she was told it would be too busy for her to take time out.

After completing the training Sandra later discussed it with her mother who thought it sounded unfair.

Sandra contacted the SDA Union office and was advised that she should have been paid for the training.

With assistance of an SDA official, Sandra and her team mates received full pay for the training time.

An employer must pay employees wages for all time spent attending compulsory training. If training is genuinely voluntary, the same obligation does not generally apply.

Sometimes the line between compulsory and voluntary training can be difficult to discern. We are here to help. If you’re concerned about not being paid for your training time contact the SDA Information Helpline 1300 SDA HELP (1300 732 4357) for confidential advice.

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