Small business

Small businesses play a vital role in the economy. We understand the unique challenges you face in meeting your workplace relations responsibilities. We’re here to help you get it right and provide you with information you can rely on.

We have tools and resources to help you keep on top of your workplace relations obligations. We’ve also provided some links to where you can get more information and support from us and other organisations.

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 (DOC 230KB) is a useful reference guide that summarises your responsibilities under the Fair Work Act 2009, the National Employment Standards, awards and registered agreements.

You can then test how well you know your obligations with our Employer Checklist  ( PDF 1.8MB ).

Finding the right pay

Find out about minimum wages, penalty rates, overtime and allowances for your employees and access our online pay rate calculator on our Minimum wages page.

You can also check out our pay guides for pay rates, allowances and common penalties in your industry.

Calculating leave entitlements

Learn about the types of leave employees can take including:

Calculate annual, sick and carer’s leave using our Leave calculator external-icon.png.

Record-keeping and pay slips

For information on what records you need to keep and what information needs to be on a pay slip, see our Pay slips and Record-keeping pages.

You can also find templates on those pages to help you meet your record-keeping obligations.

Hiring employees

Find specialised resources and tips to help you employ the right person for your business on our Hiring employees page.

Managing your workforce

Learn more about:

Help resolving workplace issues

Find out what we can help with, how we help and where to go if we can’t help at our Help resolving workplace issues page.

To make it easier for small business to find the information they need to resolve workplace issues the Australian Small Business Commissioner has created an online dispute resolution information and referral tool which:

  • identifies the best low cost dispute resolution service for resolving your dispute
  • helps you understand and manage disputes
  • gives you tips to help avoid disputes in the future.

Use Dispute Support now.

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 at work. 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.

Newsletter and email updates

To get alerts with information that’s relevant to you sign up for our email update service.

You can also sign up to receive our Newsletter and every 2 months you’ll get information sent to your email account 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 on our website 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 external-icon.png for information about tax and superannuation
  • your local workplace health and safety body for information about workplace safety and workers’ compensation. Visit our Workers' compensation page for a list of workplace health and safety bodies.

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