Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2019


The Federal Parliament are currently considering the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2019. A copy of the Bill is available here. The Bill passed the House of Representatives on 31 July 2019. Negotiations are continuing with cross-bench members of the Senate to block the legislation.

This Bill is a politically motivated attack on workers’ ability to organise and represent workers, run their own union and determine who leads them. It’s an attack on all unions and provides excessive and unnecessary external oversight of the leadership, staffing and internal operations of unions. This will make it harder for workers to win pay rises and protect their jobs.

The Bill is far more extensive and extreme in the regulation of unions than what exists for businesses or politicians and if voted into law will make it possible for government ministers and disgruntled employers to shut down unions and deny working people their right to choose their own representatives.

This threatens basic democratic freedoms.

Australia already has one of the most restrictive set of regulations on worker’s organisations among democratic nations. This extreme new law would place Australia even further outside the rest of the world and more aligned with authoritarian, undemocratic countries.

The Morrison government has overseen raids on journalists and is now attacking working people’s freedom to run their own unions. These are dangerous attacks on fundamental pillars of democracy.

The Government is going after ordinary working people, 90% of whom are unpaid volunteers on management committees but ignoring what has already been discovered in banks, is being uncovered in aged care corporations and what his own ministers are doing.

We’ve seen countless scandals and examples of unethical behaviour from members of the Morrison government who are not held to account in anyway. And every day we see employers engaging in wage theft and people being killed at work. If these laws applied equally to corporations we would see banks, multinational pizza chains and the restaurants of celebrity chefs closed down for repeatedly breaking workplace laws and their top Executives sacked. This is not being proposed, because it would be outrageous. It is also outrageous for unions.

These proposed laws put the rights of millions of working people are on the line. It is part of the current Government’s attempts to attack unions because unions stand up for working people and call the government and employers to account.

Senate Inquiry

The Bill is now being considered by a Senate Inquiry. The Inquiry is due to report back on 25 October 2019. Submission are due on 29 August 2019. Further information on the inquiry is available here

Unions NSW has drafted a submission on the Bill. A copy is available here.

The ACTU has developed campaign resources to assist with messaging on the Bill and informing your union on the potential impacts. Resources (with links):

If you have any questions, please email us at asmof@asmof.org.au