Government introduces bill to ban corrupt payments to unions

Government introduces bill to ban corrupt payments to unions

On Wednesday 22 March the Government introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Corrupting Benefits) Bill 2017 (the Bill) into the House of Representatives.

The Bill amends the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act) to respond to recommendations of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, to improve the governance and financial transparency of registered organisations.

The Bill will:

• Make it a criminal offence to give a registered organisation, or a person associated with a registered organisation, a corrupting benefit

• Make it a criminal offence to receive or solicit a corrupting benefit

• Make it a criminal offence for a national system employer other than an employee organisation to provide, offer or promise to provide any cash or in-kind payment, other than certain legitimate payments to an employee organisation or its prohibited beneficiaries

• Make it a criminal offence to solicit, receive, obtain or agree or obtain any such prohibited payment

• Require bargaining representatives for a proposed enterprise agreement (employers, employer organisations, and unions) to disclose financial benefits that the bargaining representative, or a person or body reasonably connected with it, would or could reasonably be expected to derive because of a term of the proposed agreement

• Impose substantial penalties in relation to the giving, receiving or soliciting of corrupting benefits to a maximum of $4.5 million for a body corporate and $900,000 for an individual and/or up to 10 years imprisonment.

Master Builders will keep members informed of developments and will provide more detail on the effect of the amendments for the construction industry once the Bill has passed into law.

In the interim, members seeking further information should contact the IR Department on (03) 9411 4560.

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