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 and resources you can rely on.

On this page find help for:

Getting started

The basics

Learn the basics of the Fair Work workplace relations system with our Small business best practice guide. It explains minimum employment conditions, record-keeping, pay slips, unfair dismissal laws and other responsibilities.

The Fair Work Handbook (DOC 230KB) (PDF 348.1KB) is a useful reference guide that summarises your responsibilities under the Fair Work Act 2009, the National Employment Standards, awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements.

Hiring employees

Check out our free online short courses on hiring employees, managing performance and having difficult conversations in the workplace at our Online learning centre.

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

My account

Register for My account to:

  • get priority support from us
  • save your pay rates and awards
  • bookmark your favourite pages from our site
  • ask us questions and save our replies
  • view tailored information relevant to you.

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Record-keeping and pay slips

Easy compliance starts with good record-keeping. With the right paperwork in place you can:

  • calculate wages, leave and other entitlements accurately
  • reduce the overall time spent on payroll processing
  • audit your own records to find any mistakes
  • resolve any disputes over pay and other entitlements more easily
  • avoid fines for not keeping the right records.

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

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Finding the right pay

Find links to information about minimum wages, penalty rates, overtime and allowances on our Pay page.

Calculate minimum wages, including penalty rates, overtime and allowances:

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Calculating leave

Learn about the types of leave employees can take including:

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

For downloadable leave application templates and leave record templates, visit our Templates page.

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Managing employees

Learn more about:

Take our free online short course in managing performance at our Online learning centre.

Download useful templates, including performance agreements, underperformance meeting plans, warning letters and checklists from our Templates page.

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 resolve workplace issues and other business issues, the Australian Small Business Commissioner provides information to help businesses better understand and manage their dispute, including:

Visit the Australian Small Business Commissioner's website external-icon.png to find out more.

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Ending employment

Learn more about:

Take our free online short course in having difficult conversations at our Online learning centre.

Download termination of employment template letters from our Templates page.

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Audit your payroll regularly

Minimum wages and conditions change, as can your employees’ job roles and responsibilities can change over time.

Use our Employer Checklist (PDF 1.8MB) to test your knowledge and make sure you’re on top of things.

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Stay up to date

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.

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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 3.

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Useful links

Other organisations to help you in managing your obligations include:

  • 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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