New guidance materials to aid education and compliance

25 July 2018

The continuing delivery of education and information to lift levels of compliance and reporting standards among employer groups and unions remains high on the agenda of the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) in 2018-19.

“Our priorities are focused predominantly on educating and supporting registered organisations in meeting their statutory obligations,” said Registered Organisations Commissioner Mr Mark Bielecki.

“Through education, guidance materials, on-line tools and collaboration we help organisations and their officers deliver best practice outcomes to their members - this is the touchstone for what we do.”

The ROC has launched a new 12-month national Education Strategy to assist registered organisations to plan their training for the year.

As part of this, the ROC has released new and updated educational resources on officer and related party disclosure obligations. The information provides tailored examples, templates, checklists and a pending webinar series all designed to assist organisations to understand the requirements of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (RO Act).

“This information builds on existing materials which summarise the legislation and highlight its key provisions and has been prepared following consultation with organisations about the types of education and resources they require,” said Mr Bielecki.

“These guidance materials provide practical examples to assist office holders and their organisations better understand the disclosures they are required to make about remuneration and material personal interests."

“These resources not only help organisations comply but can save them time and resources in preparing what is required,” said Mr Bielecki.

In addition, a range of updated on-line education resources on financial reporting obligations has also been made available, incorporating model statements, checklists and additional background material.

The ROC’s priority remains on education to assist organisations comply, following changes to the Act.

Mr Bielecki said the ROC’s nation-wide education campaigns supported by on-line resources and increased assistance have seen organisations become more familiar with regulatory requirements and there has been improving levels of compliance since the ROC commenced in May 2017.

“Our initiatives such as the national Education Strategy are an extension of our commitment to engage with and educate organisations in complying with their regulatory obligations, in anticipation that it will further promote voluntary compliance,” Mr Bielecki said.

“Many initiatives have been put in place and we are seeing improved levels of compliance.

“In recent weeks we have also welcomed aboard a number of new team members to complement the work that is being done to assist registered organisations,” said Mr Bielecki.

The ROC interacts with 107 registered organisations across Australia - 45 unions and 62 employer associations - and its priorities are particularly centred on three areas:

  • Information and education. With the changes to the Act the focus is on assisting organisations and making information readily accessible. New initiatives include the 2018/19 national ROC Education Strategy, interstate information workshops, on-line compliance calculator, officer induction kit as well as various guidance materials to assist with disclosure and corrupting benefits.
  • Financial obligations. These include financial reports, annual returns, loans, grants and donations statements. The ROC assesses and analyses financial reports from about 375 reporting units including branches associated with registered organisations. There is also a range of education resources to assist organisations comply with financial reporting obligations such as model statements, checklists, fact sheets and webinars for auditors on common reporting issues.
  • Compliance. The ROC’s focus is to encourage a robust level of regulatory protection for members by encouraging high standards of compliance. It undertakes inquiries and investigations into suspected contraventions of the Act, and where appropriate, takes enforcement action. The ROC seeks to aid compliance through advice and education efforts in addition to continuing liaison with officers and reporting units.   Further information on financial reporting requirements and compliance obligations is available on the ROC website: www.roc.gov.au   

ROC media contact:   Greg Russo - (03) 9603 0767 or greg.russo@roc.gov.au