New dedicated helpline for small business

6 December 2013

The Fair Work Ombudsman has today launched a new helpline for small business people to make it quicker and easier for them to get the help they need to meet their workplace relations obligations.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said the FWO has established the prioritised service to assist small business people when they call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

“This service will enable small business people to select an option to be streamed into a prioritised service queue where they will be answered by the next available adviser,” Ms James said.

“This prioritised service will reduce waiting times for small business. Our operators will step them through what we need to know about their business so that we can give them reliable advice.

“This streamlined service acknowledges that small business people engage in a wide range of tasks every day, and that sometimes they need extra assistance to step through any payroll and human resources issues in the workplace.”

Ms James said providing advice to time-poor small businesses with minimal workplace relations support or expertise is a high priority for the Fair Work Ombudsman.

“Small business is entitled to credible and reliable information about their obligations in a way that makes sense to them, and via channels that they can access quickly and easily,” Ms James said.

“The overwhelming majority of small business people want get it right when it comes to workplace laws and we are committed to helping them do that.”

If small businesses aren’t sure about the laws that apply in their workplaces, they should call the Small Business Helpline.

“Small businesses are entitled to advice they can rely on,” Ms James said. “They are entitled to seek out advice without fear that, as a result of coming to us for help, they will be the subject of an investigation.

“The Small Business Helpline is here to help people who want to do the right thing. It is an education and advisory service. It is not a compliance tool.”

Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, has thanked the Fair Work Ombudsman for implementing the Coalition Government’s policy so expeditiously.

“I encourage small business people to engage with the Fair Work Ombudsman as a valuable resource to assist their businesses,” Minister Abetz said.

“A big part of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s reason for existence is to help create fair Australian workplaces by assisting small business people to comply with workplace laws as quickly and easily as possible, so they can get on with serving their customers, running their businesses and contributing to the Australian economy.

“By offering priority services to busy small business people, such as the new Small Business Helpline, the Coalition Government is serious about helping this important sector of the community to be the best they can.”

Employers can call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 between 8am and 5.30pm weekdays to obtain free advice and assistance from a team of expert advisers. A free interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.

There are also a range of tools and resources for small business people available on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website at

Free template documentation is available for employers to use when hiring, managing and dismissing staff, including letters of engagement and probation, timesheet and pay slip templates, leave application forms and a self-audit check list.

The website also has a number of dedicated tools and resources, including PayCheck Plus and an Award Finder, to assist business owners to calculate the correct pay for their employees.

A series of Best Practice Guides is available on a range of topics, including ‘small business and the Fair Work Act’.

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Assistant Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902

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