Resolving disputes

Occasionally an apprentice and their employer are unable to resolve differences about their training contract obligations.

If this happens, call the VRQA on 1300 722 603 10:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday to Friday to discuss the best course of action for a speedy resolution.

Usually, the agreed course of action requires no intervention by the VRQA. In a small number of cases a VRQA officer may recommend a workplace visit from an authorised officer. This often leads to the resolution of the issue.

Dispute resolution process

If a workplace visit does not lead to a resolution, the VRQA may enact its formal disputes process.

Most disputes arise when an employer and an apprentice do not agree to the cancellation of an apprenticeship contract. Disputes can be raised by telephone or in writing within 30 days of the apprentice finishing employment. Limited exceptions to the 30 day limit apply.

If a dispute cannot be resolved, the VRQA may decide to:

  • work with the employer and apprentice to resolve the dispute without the need for a formal proceeding
  • conduct a formal proceeding that the parties can attend in person or via teleconference. The VRQA may assist the parties to reach agreement or settle the dispute by making an order.

The parties can negotiate a resolution to the dispute outside the formal dispute resolution process at any time.

Learn more by reading Apprenticeship and Traineeship Dispute Resolution Policy (docx - 104.63kb)