Workplace relations bill: details of the agreement

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Workplace relations bill: details of the agreement

In today’s HR Link, we outline the consequences of the Government/Democrat agreement on registered organisations under the proposed federal system.

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In today’s HR Link, we outline the consequences of the Government/Democrat agreement on registered organisations under the proposed federal system.

The proposals under the original Bill in relation to organisations registered (or seeking to be registered) under the Act proposed to:

  1. remove the ‘conveniently belong’ rule (this rule provided that a registered organisation could object to another organisation’s application for federal registration on the ground that the members of the applicant organisation could more ‘conveniently belong’ to the already established organisation);
  2. allow organisations which had been amalgamated on or after February 1991 as part of the ACTU’s push for ‘super’ unions to disamalgamate if they so choose;
  3. allow for the creation of enterprise unions;
  4. allow members of a federal union to create an autonomous enterprise branch of the federal union; and,
  5. introduce new freedom of association provisions.

The agreement between the Government and the Democrats has altered these proposals in the following ways:

  1. the ‘conveniently belong’ rule will remain but the already registered organisation must not only show that the members of the proposed organisation could more conveniently belong to it but that the already registered organisation would more effectively represent the industrial interests of the members of the applicant organisation;
  2. the proposal to allow the deregistration of ‘super’ unions was one of the two issues the Government and the Democrats failed to reach agreement on, however, the Government’s proposal was successful in the Senate with the support of the Tasmanian Independent, Brian Harradine;
  3. the proposal to allow for the registration of enterprise unions will go ahead;
  4. the proposal to allow the formation of autonomous enterprise branches of federal unions will not proceed; and,
  5. the legislation will expressly allow employees the choice of whether to join or not to join a union, the legislation will also maintain provisions allowing an employee to apply for a conscientious objector certificate (this is interesting because if the law allows you the choice of whether to join a union or not, the query then is why would you need a conscientious objector certificate?).

 

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