Registered organisations bill 2000

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Registered organisations bill 2000

As mentioned in HR Link 151/99, the Government has released an exposure draft bill – Registered Organisations Bill 2000 for public discussion and comment.

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As mentioned in HR Link 151/99, the Government has released an exposure draft bill – Registered Organisations Bill 2000 for public discussion and comment. The proposed Bill would remove registered organisation provisions from the Workplace Relations Act 1996, and create a separate Registered Organisations Act.

Whilst the draft Bill maintains many of the existing arrangements in relation to industrial organisations, there are some changes which the Government believes would increase the transparency in organisations' financial affairs, enhance accountability and improve the democratic control of organisations by their members.

The main features of the Bill include:

  • The minimum membership requirements for registered employee organisations would be reduced from 50 to 20 members.
  • The grounds upon which an organisation may be deregistered would be extended to include:
    • freedom of association breaches;
    • improper interference in the registration of an enterprise union;
    • improper interference in a disamalgamation;
    • significant non-compliance with financial reporting requirements; and
    • breaches of court injunctions against unlawful industrial action.
  • The criteria for the registration of enterprise unions would be simplified, and the requirement that a majority of employees eligible to be members support the registration, would be replaced with a requirement that, if registered, the organisation be able to operate effectively.
  • The financial accounting and reporting requirements of organisations would be more closely aligned with the Corporations Law.
  • Industrial organisations would be required to have rules providing that politically related expenditure be made from a political fund. Such a fund could only be established following a ballot of all members of the organisation.
  • The powers of the Industrial Registrar would be enhanced in relation to investigating the financial and reporting requirements of organisations.
  • Organisations would be prohibited from utilising resources to assist one candidate over another in elections for office.

Comments in relation to the draft Bill should be provided by 1 March 2000 and may be sent to the Workplace Relations Team in the Department.

 

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