Unions and employer associations must have rules before we can register them. These rules must meet the standards in the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act).
Registered organisations (RO) must have rules that state their purpose and the conditions of membership.
The rules ensure that these groups:
- operate effectively and are well managed
- encourage member participation
- function and are managed democratically
- are accountable to their members.
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Chapter 5 of the RO Act has the requirements that organisations’ rules must meet. The rules must cover:
- Purposes of the organisation s.141(1)(a)
- Eligibility for membership s.141(1)(a)
- Powers and duties of the committees and offices s.141(1)(b)(i)
- Manner of summoning meetings s.141(1)(b)(ii)
- The keeping of minute books by committees of management s.141(i)(b)(iia)
- Removal of holders of offices s.141(1)(b)(iii)
- Control of committees s.141(1)(b)(iv)
- Execution of documents s.141(1)(b)(v)
- Notifying the Commission of industrial disputes s.141(1)(b)(vi)
- Cessation of membership otherwise than by resignation s.141(1)(b)(vii)
- Resignation of members under s.174 of the RO Act s.141(1)(b)(viii)
- Property and funds of the organisation s.141(1)(b)(ix)
- Audit of the accounts s.141(1)(b)(x)
- How funds may be spent s.141(1)(b)(xi)
- Register of the members s.141(1)(b)(xii)
- Alteration of rules s.141(1)(b)(xiii)
- Development and implementation of financial policies s.141(1)(ca)
- Information for applicants for membership s.141(1)(d)
- Elections for offices ss.143, 144
- Terms of office s.145
- Conditions for loans, grants and donations s.149
Eligibility rules set out who can become members of a particular employer association, union or enterprise union. The rules mainly refer to:
- the work a person does
- the industry a person works in
- the nature of the employer's business.
Not all rules are mandatory. The organisation may choose whether to include these rules:
- Eligibility for membership of independent contractors s.141(2)
- Filling of casual vacancies s.146
- Membership agreements s.151
- Assets and liabilities agreements s.152
- Any other matter s.141(3)