The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2017 was introduced into the House of Representatives on 16 August. The key elements of the Bill include:
• New provisions to disqualify officials of Registered Organisations from holding office, or standing for office, should they be found to have deliberately broken workplace laws, not acted in members interests, or not be fit and proper people (for example, having broken a criminal law)
• New provisions to seek deregistration of Registered Organisations, or a part thereof, should it (or officers or members) be found to have deliberately broken workplace laws, or not acted in their members’ interest. There are also new provisions regarding the placing of an Registered Organisation into administration
• A public interest test for Registered Organisation (e.g. union) amalgamations, which is expressed in the positive – i.e. that it is ‘in the public interest’, rather ‘not contrary to the public interest’.
These elements reflect key recommendations from the Heydon Royal Commission into Trade Union Corruption and Governance, and aim to deter a Registered Organisation, its officers or members, from deliberately holding themselves above the rule law and/or not acting in their members’ best interests. Master Builders is therefore strongly supportive of the Bill.