Find the latest news and updates relevant to you, a small business employer. This includes changes to workplace laws and new products or tools available.
Do you subscribe to our email updates? If not, sign up today to keep up to date with important workplace news.
On this page
15 December 2023
There have been changes to the Fair Work Act as part of the new ‘Closing Loopholes’ laws.
The changes take effect at various times across the next year and into 2025.
The major workplace changes relate to:
- rules for labour hire workers
- criminalising intentional wage underpayments
- new discrimination protections
- small business redundancy exemptions
- workplace delegates’ rights
- right of entry
- compulsory conciliation conferences in protected action ballot matters.
We’re currently updating our website information, tools and resources. We’ll have more detailed information soon.
To stay updated, subscribe to email updates. We’ll email you as changes take effect and we have more information available.
For more information, see Closing Loopholes: Fair Work Act changes.
6 December 2023
New rules now apply when engaging employees on fixed term contracts.
The rules include a requirement for employers to give any employees they’re engaging on a new fixed term contract a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement.
They also include some limitations on how fixed term contracts can be used. There are some exceptions to who these limitations apply to.
For more information, visit Fixed term contract employees.
19 September 2023
We have a new video for small business owners on how we can help.
In ‘Emilie’s story’, a small business owner shares how we helped her understand her workplace obligations as an employer. She also explains how we keep her updated about changes to wages and workplace laws.
Watch the video on our Know your rights and obligations page.
1 August 2023
Employees of small business employers can now access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period. This took effect on 1 August 2023.
What you need to know about the leave
- 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave is now available to employees of small business employers.
- Full-time, part-time and casual employees can take 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period (it isn’t pro-rated for part-time or casual employees).
- All 10 days are available upfront – an employee doesn’t accrue it.
- Employers must not include certain information on an employee’s pay slip about taking paid family and domestic violence leave.
Learn more at Paid family and domestic violence leave for small business.
Small business employer guide
Make sure you download our new small business employer guide, which will help you manage family and domestic violence issues in the workplace.
Podcast: Small Business, Big Impact
Small Business, Big Impact is a new podcast for small businesses about how to support employees experiencing family and domestic violence.
Across 10 short episodes, the podcast will help:
- guide small business employers on their workplace responsibilities
- employers recognise the red flags of family and domestic violence.
30 June 2023
As part of the Australian Government's new Protecting Worker Entitlements laws, there are changes to the Fair Work Act.
The changes relate to:
- superannuation in the National Employment Standards
- changes to unpaid parental leave
- interaction between enterprise agreements and workplace determinations
- authorised employee deductions
- protections for migrant workers
- casual employees in the black coal mining industry
Some of these changes start immediately, while others start later this year or in 2024.
Learn more at Fair Work Act changes: Protecting Worker entitlements.
5 June 2023
From 6 June 2023, there are changes to:
- who can request flexible working arrangements and dealing with disputes
- extending unpaid parental leave and dealing with disputes
- agreement-making and bargaining.
These changes are part of the Australian Government’s Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation.
Flexible working arrangements
The right to request flexible working arrangements now applies to:
- employees, or a member of their immediate family or household, experiencing family and domestic violence
- employees who are pregnant.
Employers have new obligations before they can refuse a request from an employee for a flexible working arrangement.
The Fair Work Commission (the Commission) now has the power to deal with disputes about requests for flexible working arrangements.
Read our updated information at Flexible working arrangements.
Extending parental leave
Employers have new obligations before they can refuse a request from an employee requesting an extension to unpaid parental leave.
The Commission also now has the power to deal with disputes about requests for extending unpaid parental leave.
Read our updated information at Extending unpaid parental leave.
Agreement-making and bargaining
The Commission and its processes are affected by the changes to agreement-making and employer bargaining.
The Commission has published extensive information and launched free resources to help affected employers. Go to Secure Jobs Better Pay Act – what’s changing now.
Learn more about these new laws from Secure Jobs, Better Pay: Changes to Australian workplace laws.