The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (RO Act) requires registered organisations to provide an annual return of information about records kept.
On this page:
There are very specific requirements.
The best way to ensure you supply the right information in the right way is to use our templates:
- Annual return template for organisations with branches
- Annual return template for organisations without branches
The following sections break down the information required in the template.
Declaration about register of members
As each organisation is legally required obliged to keep a register of members, (and assuming that it has done so) the declaration must say that the register of members has, during the immediately preceding calendar year, been kept and maintained as required by sections 230(1)(a) and 230(2).
It must be in the part of the annual return that’s signed by the secretary, or other officer who is required to keep the register of members.
If an organisation has issues with its register, email email@example.com.
Number of members
List the number of members that were on the register on 31 December.
You must keep a current register of members. You'll also need it for things like the roll of voters for your elections.
If you have branches keep separate registers, the relevant branch office holder may need to declare them.
Offices and the people holding them
You must list all of the organisation's offices. This includes offices in your branches and offices that are currently vacant.
You must also provide the names, postal addresses and occupations of the people holding those offices. This information must be current on the day the annual return is signed.
Annual returns are published online, so we recommend you use the organisation or branch office as the officer’s address. This also means you don’t need to update your records (and submit a notification of change) every time an officer moves house.
'Office' and 'officer' are defined in sections 6 and 9 of the RO Act. Otherwise, you can listen to our podcast episode Who is an officer?
There are 2 parts that must be included about branches.
You must list all current branches and their street addresses.
Each branch must be listed by name and address. Don’t just use a PO Box. You must provide a street address.
This list of branches must be current on the day the annual return is signed.
Changes to branches
You must list the names of any branches that have started or ceased during the past 12 months since the last annual return was signed.
Address of the organisation
You must include the street address of the organisation. It must be current on the day the annual return is signed.
Street addresses are required for legal service of documents on the organisation and its branches.
You must include every election for office that is due in the year the annual return is being lodged.
This includes any elections that:
- started before the annual return is lodged
- are currently underway
- are scheduled to start later in the calendar year (whether they will be completed or not)
- are for branches of the organisation.
Don’t provide information for elections from the previous calendar year.
Members because of an agreement
You must also list the number of people who were members of your organisation, as of 31 December, because you have entered into an agreement with the state union (under section 151).
Declaration about the records kept
You must make a declaration that the information provided in the annual return accurately reflects a correct statement of the information contained in the records kept by the organisation as required by section 230(1)(b), (c) and (d).
The information in the annual return must reflect the information in your organisation's records. You make a declaration to that effect: that the information supplied to the Commission accurately reflects the records kept by the organisation.
Using the template is the best way to ensure that the specific wording of the declaration is correct.