2 February 2018
The Registered Organisations Commissioner has welcomed today’s decision by the Federal Court because it highlights the importance for unions and employer associations in maintaining adequate records and ensuring compliance with their regulatory obligations.
In today’s judgment, Perram J imposed civil penalties on the TWU for contraventions of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act) in the sum of $271,362.36 comprised of $200,000 for contravening s 172 (arising from the failure over a period of 12 years to remove 20,907 members from its membership register) and $71, 362.36 for five separate contraventions of s 231(1) (failing to keep copies of required records for 7 years).
In his judgment at paragraph 79, Perram J noted that ‘Because of the democratic principles underpinning the RO Act, record keeping under this legislation is a significant matter’. And further that ‘It needs to be understood by registered organisations that this is a serious piece of legislation and the apparently mundane obligations it imposes are to be obeyed’.
The ROC considered this an important action because compliance by registered organisations with their obligations to keep accurate membership registers and meet their record keeping requirements comprise key obligations that organisations have and should fulfil in the interests of their members.
This matter is now the subject of an appeal by the Transport Workers' Union of Australia.
Media contact: Greg Russo - (03) 9603 0767 or firstname.lastname@example.org