Employer associations and unions that are registered in their state may be able to represent their members in the national industrial system. Find out how to apply.
If a union or employer association is eligible, they can be recognised at federal level under Schedule 2 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (RO Act).
They become a 'recognised State-registered association' (RSRA).
Recognition does not give the RSRA:
- a legal identity that it would not otherwise have or
- a right to represent its members' industrial interests outside where it is a State-registered association.
The recognition of a RSRA may end if:
- the association is registered under a state law that stops being a prescribed law in the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Regulations 2009
- the Federal Court of Australia, the Commission or the General Manager of the Commission cancel the recognition.
To apply for recognition, the association must meet the following criteria:
1. It is registered under, or is an organisation for the purposes of, one of the following State laws:
- Industrial Relations Act 1996 of New South Wales
- Industrial Relations Act 1999 of Queensland
- Industrial Relations Act 1979 of Western Australia
- Fair Work Act 1994 of South Australia
2. It has no 'federal counterpart' as defined in the legislation.
Note: the definition of a 'federal counterpart' is in section 9A of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009.
How to apply for recognition
Apply in writing to the General Manager of the Commission and refer to the criteria above.
You must provide a statement by an authorised officer of the association. This should set out:
- the address of the association
- the title of each office including any committee of management, council and executive positions
- the name and address of all officeholders including committee of management, council and executive members.
With your application, you must also send:
- a copy of the current rules of the association
- a copy of the certificate of State registration
- a statutory declaration that confirms the facts in the application and support documents are genuine.
Email your application or send it to the Commission office near you.
After you apply
The General Manager of the Commission considers the application. We do not hold a formal proceeding to make a decision. If the General Manager grants recognition, they issue an instrument recording the recognition.
We send a copy of the instrument to the association.
The Commission may make orders about the right of RSRAs to represent particular groups or classes of employees.
Once an association becomes an RSRA, the Fair Work Act 2009 and also Part 3 of Chapter 4 of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 apply in the same way as they apply to a registered organisation.