Covid-19: FAQs for School Based Trainees

Leisure Employment Australia strives for the safety, health and wellbeing of all of our trainees.

You would now all be aware of the closure of majority of BlueFit facilities, in response to the Government directives on non-essential services and social distancing regulations to stop the spread of Covid-19.

We appreciate how understanding you have all been and we would like to offer further guidance and information about the processes currently taking effect. We hope the below FAQs offer some clarity – remember your LEA consultant is always available for you!

TRAINEESHIP:

What is happening with my traineeship?

Due to this unpredictable pandemic, we have formally suspended all School Based Trainees across all States.

What does a suspension actually mean?

A suspension is usually processed when one or more parties of the traineeship contract is unable to meet their obligations for a certain period of time.

By suspending your traineeships, your traineeship contract is formally put on hold with the State Training Authority, so they are aware you are unable to work and/or study.Your traineeship contract will be reinstated once the suspension period is over, or earlier if circumstances change.

Why did LEA choose to suspend our trainees?

A suspension of a traineeship agreement is a commitment from LEA to get you back into the workplace and reinstate all traineeships, once this is all over. We understand that Covid-19 is having devastating effects on many other employers who have no choice but to cancel traineeships, so LEA is extremely thankful that we are able to commit to a suspension pathway.

Will this have an impact on my qualification?

Over the last few weeks, we have seen some major changes in State Traineeship legislation regarding suspensions and the continuance of study. We appreciate all efforts of the State Training Authorities to help all School Based Trainees during this time.

 

NSW:

Year 11 :Year 11 trainees complete their study through a block release delivery and we have therefore had to postpone the April block of learning. As you are aware, we aim to have all study completed prior to Year 12, however given the circumstances we now plan to hold these blocks in the July, October and January holidays. Please know, this is our hope for now, however we will confirm this once we understand more about the longevity of social distancing rules and the effects on face to face learning closer to July.

Year 12 : All year 12 trainees have completed their qualification. For those few who haven’t, you would have been contacted by your LEA consultant to ensure you utilise this period to finalise your study.

 

QLD:

Due to recent changes, we have been granted permission to allow you to study while your traineeships are suspended. This is particularly important for our year 12 trainees and we encourage you to use this time effectively.

YDAT will be in regular contact during this period and we are also looking into remote learning options for any practical assessments.

 

WA:

We have been granted permission to allow you to study while your traineeships are suspended (for a maximum of 6 months). This is particularly important for our year 12 trainees and we encourage you to use this time effectively.

NMTAFE will be in regular contact during this period and we are also looking into remote learning options for any practical assessments.

 

VIC:

Due to recent changes, we have been granted permission to allow you to study while your traineeships are suspended. This is particularly important for our year 12 trainees and we encourage you to use this time effectively.

GOTAFE will be in regular contact during this period and we are also looking into remote learning options for any practical assessments.

 

SA:

We only recently launched our School Based Traineeship and Pathway traineeship programs at Aquadome in early March. Given the current circumstances, these traineeships are now put on hold for now as the RTO study component has not yet started. We will ensure we get all our trainees back on track once we come back from this even bigger and better.

Will this have an impact on my Senior Secondary Certificate (HSC/QCE/VCE/WACE/SACE)?

We are working with each and every Registered Training Organisation to ensure your qualifications are completed in due time, to allow for any credit towards your Senior Secondary Certificate. At this stage, we have no reason to believe you will not successfully complete your qualification. For trainees in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland, we expect your dedication to completing your outstanding units to continue during this time.

Will this have an impact on my traineeship hours?

State Training Authorities are still working on understanding how traineeship hours will be managed. It seems highly likely that many trainees will have extra time to allow for the completion of hours and to receive their ‘Traineeship completions’. We will notify you as any changes are confirmed or released to employers.

EMPLOYMENT:

What does this mean for my employment?

During this suspension period, your employment contract is still valid however you have been stood down due to the closure of our centres and the inability to work. Once our centres re-open, you will be expected to return to your duties.

 

According to the fair work website:

A stand down is when an employee can’t do useful work because of:

  • Equipment breakdown, if the employer isn’t responsible for it
  • Industrial action, when it is not organised by the employer
  • Stoppage of work for which the employer can’t be held responsible, including severe and inclement weather and natural disasters

During a stand down period an employee:

  • Doesn’t get paid
  • Accrues leave in the usual way

What happens with my annual leave?

Your annual leave continues to accrue while you are stood down. This is based on your standard weekly hours and you can check your balance on your Cloud Payroll accounts.

What Government assistance am I eligible for?

This pandemic is changing daily and we are therefore constantly adapting to new rules and regulations.

 

Last week many of you were notified that you were eligible for the JobKeeper payment of $1500 a fortnight. Thank you to everyone who was so efficient in returning their nomination forms by Wednesday 22nd April.

 

On Friday 24th April, the treasurer announced an amendment to the age eligibility for the JobKeeper subsidy.

 

You may have been initially nominated as you were 16 years of age or above on 1 March 2020, however this has now changed and the rules will state that full time students who are 17 years old and younger, and who are not financially independent, are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

 

What happens now?

We had already finalised the first JobKeeper payment run when this change was announced, so we have made the decision to continue with the first payment. You will be paid this on Thursday 30th April (covering pay period 30/3 to 26/4) and will be taxed accordingly.

 

For our trainees, please understand this will still be a significant amount of money and may be considerably more than you would earn in a 6 month period. With that in mind, we will release some financial tips shortly to help you work through that.

 

Based on the new eligibility rules, we need to advise you not to expect the JobKeeper payment going forward. If you turn 18 within the next 6 months, you will become eligible at that time. We will inform you of any further changes that may occur.

 

We understand how challenging this situation is and want you all to know we are doing everything we can to navigate through this and act in a timely manner. In the meantime, we urge you all to reach out to your LEA consultant if this has caused you financial hardship. There is always help available to those that truly need it.

How can I keep up to date with any new information?

If any new information or legislation is confirmed, LEA will communicate with you directly. However, as we work through this process, we strongly recommend that you access your news feed on Deputy as Hayley Breen, BlueFit’s People and Culture manager, is constantly posting new updates and answering further questions. You will also receive email updates from Todd McHardy, BlueFit’s CEO.