Small business

We recognise the important role small business plays in the community and their challenges and responsibilities. We work with small business to provide credible, accessible and reliable information that promotes productive and harmonious workplaces.

Operating a small business can be very exciting, but it also means you have a range of responsibilities to consider. Here you'll find tools and resources to help you keep on top of your workplace obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009. We’ve also provided some links to where you can get more information and support from us.

The basics

If you want to know about the basics of the Fair Work system our Small Business Best Practice Guide is a good place to start. It explains minimum employment conditions, record keeping, pay slips, unfair dismissal laws and other responsibilities.

The Fair Work Handbook (pdf 199KB) pdf icon is also useful as a quick reference guide that summarises your responsibilities under the Fair Work Act 2009. It includes information about the National Employment Standards, awards and agreements.

You can work through our Employer Checklist (pdf 2MB) pdf icon to test your awareness of the Fair Work system.

Hiring employees

Our guide to hiring new employees (pdf 308KB) PDF explains the steps you should follow to find the right person and get them started on the right track.

You can also access our online course ‘Hiring new employees’. This course has interactive activities, templates and checklists to help you through the process. 

Finding the right pay

You can use our online calculator PayCheck Plus to work out minimum wages, penalty rates, overtime and allowances for most modern awards.

Our pay and conditions guides also give you a summary of the wage rates, allowances and other entitlements under your modern award.

For trainee pay rates use our trainee wage calculators.

Calculating leave entitlements

We have a Leave calculator to help you calculate annual and personal leave under the National Employment Standards.

Record keeping & pay slips

Our employee records and pay slips fact sheet explains what records you need to keep and what needs to be on a pay slip.

You can also use our record keeping and pay slip templates to help you meet these obligations.

Industry specific information

We have industry specific information for key industries including retail, building and construction and hospitality. These industry pages have tools, templates, examples and advice.

Visit the industries section to see a full list of industry pages.

Online learning centre

Our online learning centre has free courses to teach you skills and strategies to help in the workplace, such as how to have difficult conversations. They’re interactive and let you learn at your own pace.

Small Business Helpline

You can call our Small Business Helpline for quick and easy access to workplace relations advice. Contact the helpline by calling 13 13 94 and pressing option 2.

eNewsletter and email updates

Sign up for our email update service and we’ll send you alerts with information that’s relevant to you.

You can also sign up to receive our eNewsletter and every 2 months you’ll get information to help you keep up-to-date on issues about employment at the time you need to know.

Subscribing to our RSS alerts is another good way to make sure you’re kept up to date with any changes that might affect your business.

Other assistance

There are other organisations that may be able to help you in managing your obligations including:

  • the Australian Taxation Office for information about tax and superannuation
  • External link icon for helpful information about employing people
  • your local work health and safety body for information about workplace safety and workers compensation. Visit our useful links page for a list of occupational health and safety bodies.

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Page last updated: 21 Mar 2014