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Federal Court makes ruling on Queensland apprentice wages

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The Federal Court has handed down a ruling that confirms the modern award as the minimum standard for apprentice pay.

The Fair Work Commission had ruled in 2015 that apprentice agreements should be measured against the modern award of $13.07 an hour, rather than the state award of $8.75, effectively rendering the state award expired in 2014.

The full bench of the commission then upheld that ruling, before the decision was appealed to the Federal Court by The Housing Industry Association, group training outfit All Trades Queensland and Master Builders Queensland.

Electrical Trades Union Queensland apprentice officer Scott Reichman says the decision would open the door to wage claims from thousands of underpaid apprentices who were collectively owed more than $100 million.

The decision affects apprentices across all disciplines in Queensland including electrical, carpentry, plumbing, mechanical and hair dressing.

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