Queensland’s 405,000 small and medium businesses are at the heart of every industry sector. They are in every community, in every region and employ approximately 43% of the state’s private sector workers. SMEs are hard-working and dedicated. Specialists in their field of expertise, they drive Queensland’s innovation and economic growth. The flipside is that it’s not possible for every SME to know everything about every aspect of business ownership – and Australia’s complex IR and HR laws are where many businesses come unstuck. Last year, 3622 SMEs had claims filed against them with the Fair Work Commission for failing to follow the 540+ pages of national legislation that employers need to know. The cost of defending a Fair Work claim, including your time, lost revenue, and legal costs, could run into tens of thousands of dollars, even if you win. This guide aims to help you avoid the pitfalls – and learn what you need to do to make informed decisions about finding, employing and managing staff.