When you run a small business, dealing with a dispute or a dismissal can be hard. We have resources to help, even though we cannot give you legal advice.
On this page:
What is a ‘small business’?
A small business has ‘fewer than 15 employees’ (section 23 of the Fair Work Act 2009). This refers to the number of people who are part time, full time or casual (if they are 'regular and systematic').
Advice and legal help
Small businesses can access legal help through our Workplace Advice Service. If you are eligible, we can organise a free meeting with a lawyer about:
- general protections (such as discrimination or industrial issues)
Note: these lawyers are independent and do not work for the Commission. We cannot provide legal advice.
Understand your rights and obligations
The Fair Work Ombudsman has resources to guide small business. These include tools and templates to help you:
- work out pay and conditions
- hire and pay employees
- manage leave and other requests
- end employment.
Small Business Unfair Dismissal Code
The Small Business Unfair Dismissal Code contains the rules for small business if you dismiss someone.
What we are doing to help small business
As small business owners, we understand you face challenges accessing our services. We are working hard to improve your experience. There are initiatives underway to provide you with more support. See What we are doing to help small business for more information.
Consultation with small business
We run the Small Business Reference Group to help us understand the needs of small business. The members represent small businesses, peak bodies and government. It meets 3 to 4 times each year.
See Stakeholder user groups for details of this and other groups.