Apprentices and redundancy pay
The Fair Work Act (s123(4)) does exclude an apprentice from an entitlement to redundancy pay; however, this provision only applies at the time the redundancy occurs.
The relevant provision states redundancy pay provisions do not apply to an employee who is an apprentice (not was an apprentice).
This employee is now employed as a tradesperson and is entitled to redundancy pay under the NES.
The redundancy pay is based on continuous service with the employer.
In defining the meaning of ‘continuous service’, s22 of the Act does not exclude service with the employer as an apprentice.
This means the employee, in this case, is entitled to redundancy pay under the NES based on at least six years but less than seven years of continuous service with the employer (i.e. 11 weeks of redundancy pay).
Award or agreement
It should be noted there may also be a provision in the applicable modern award or enterprise agreement that refers to service as an apprentice and the effect on redundancy pay.
An example of such a provision is contained in cl 14.2(c) of the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2020.