An industrial association, or an officer or member of an industrial association, must not:
- demand; or
- purport to demand; or
do anything that would:
- have the effect of demanding; or
- purport to have the effect of demanding;
payment of a bargaining services fee.
A bargaining services fee is a fee (however described) payable:
- to an industrial association; or
- to someone in lieu of an industrial association;
wholly or partly for the provision, or purported provision, of bargaining services, but does not include membership fees.
Bargaining services are services provided by, or on behalf of, an industrial association in relation to an enterprise agreement, or a proposed enterprise agreement (including in relation to bargaining for, or the making, approval, operation, variation or termination of, the enterprise agreement, or proposed enterprise agreement).
Exception for fees payable under contract
- Subsection (1) does not apply if the fee is payable to the industrial association under a contract for the provision of bargaining services.
An industrial association (such as a union) cannot charge non-members for bargaining services in relation to a proposed enterprise agreement which will also cover the non-members.
Non-members can enter into a contract with an industrial association for bargaining services.
A bargaining services fee is a charge made for the negotiation of an enterprise agreement. They are similar to fees charged by professionals such as solicitors.
An industrial association may not demand a bargaining services fee or include a requirement to pay such a fee in an enterprise agreement, even if employees who are not union members will benefit from their services in negotiating the agreement.
However, a person can freely enter into a contract or commercial arrangement with an industrial association for the provision of bargaining services.