On 28 September 2017, Ai Group appeared before a Senate Committee hearing into the Federal Government’s Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2017.
The Bill amends the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 to respond to various recommendations of the Heydon Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, and implements other policies announced by the Government.
The Bill would:
- Introduce a public interest test for amalgamations of registered organisations (i.e. unions and registered employer associations), which will allow relevant matters to be taken into account such as each organisation’s record of compliance with industrial laws.
- Expand the categories of ‘prescribed offence’ which lead to automatic disqualification of a person from acting as an official of a registered organisation.
- Allow the Federal Court to prohibit officials from holding office in a registered organisation if they contravene a range of industrial and other relevant laws, are found in contempt of court, repeatedly fail to stop their organisation from breaking the law, or are otherwise not a fit and proper person to hold office in a registered organisation.
- Allow the Federal Court to cancel the registration of an organisation on a range of grounds including corrupt conduct by officials, repeated breaches of a range of industrial and other laws by the organisation or its members, and the taking of obstructive unprotected industrial action by a substantial number of members.
- Allow applications to be made to the Federal Court for other orders, including suspending the rights and privileges of an organisation or an individual branch or division of an organisation where its officers or members are acting in a manner that is inconsistent with the rights and privileges of registration.
- Expand the grounds on which the Federal Court may appoint an administrator to a registered organisation.
Ai Group’s opening statement at the Senate Committee hearing, expressing support for the Bill, is available on Ai Group’s website.
If you would like more information about the proposed legislation, please contact Ai Group’s Workplace Advice Service on 1300 55 66 77.
Alternatively, if you would like assistance in engaging with unions, please contact your local employment, workplace and industrial lawyer in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne or Brisbane or email Ai Group Workplace Lawyers at email@example.com.