The ROC is open to assist registered organisations
The ROC understands that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may present significant challenges for registered organisations, their branches and their members. We are committed to continuing to work constructively and pragmatically with the organisations we regulate, mindful that they are likely to encounter difficulties in complying with their regulatory obligations due to the impact of COVID-19.
We are working closely with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on managing the scheduling of elections and understanding issues with the conduct of meetings referred to in the rules of registered organisations. The ROC has also delivered workshops and panel discussions online, and we will continue to use this technology to provide education and engage with stakeholders.
The ROC remains available to help organisations that need advice and assistance about their compliance obligations such as:
- conducting elections
- holding meetings, including AGMs
- accessing governance training
- preparing and lodging financial reports, annual returns of information, officer and related party disclosure statements or loans grants and donations statements
- auditing; or
- notifying the ROC of changes to the organisation.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have an issue with preparing or lodging a financial report, annual return of information, officer and related party disclosure statement or loans
grants and donations statements? What should I do?
Please contact the ROC to discuss your individual circumstances. Our staff are available 9am to 5pm AEST, Monday to Friday, to provide assistance on 1300 341 665 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I am having issues accessing face-to-face governance training as a result of restrictions on gatherings of people and other social distancing measures announced by the government. What can I do?
The ROC recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic may present challenges for registered organisations, including the ability for officers with financial duties, to attend approved face-to-face financial training within six months of taking office,as required by the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act).
We have worked with training providers, including the ACTU, to approve governance training packages that can be completed by officers online. Please visit the Approved Financial Training webpage for more information.
Can my organisation hold meetings, including AGMs, via telephone or the internet as a way to comply with government restrictions on gatherings of people?
It is the ROC’s view that during the pandemic, attendees of meetings may be present or participate by way of technology, as long as the technology enables social interaction and a ‘meeting of the minds’. For example, a video conference, telephone conference or live streaming is likely able to meet this criteria, whereas a series of emails may not.
The ROC supports holding meetings using appropriate technology, unless the rules of your organisation prohibit it.
The use of technology to hold meetings still needs to provide members with a reasonable opportunity to participate in the meeting. More information is available in a guidance note we have produced, available here.
Will my organisation be able to hold elections during the pandemic?
While elections for registered organisations were postponed for part of 2020, the AEC has now recommenced their conduct. The AEC has announced to organisations that it was creating a schedule to work through the backlog of elections that were unable to be conducted, or were underway and ceased, due to the pandemic. For the safety of everyone involved in the election process, and to comply with government restrictions, the AEC has made some changes to the way it will conduct elections.
For any questions about requests for elections to be held, please contact the ROC. You can do so via email at email@example.com or by telephone on 1300 341 665.
Once an election decision has been issued by the ROC, you can direct any questions you have about the conduct of an election to the AEC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ROC will also create additional education resources where they are required. Click below to download.
The ROC’s assistance service remains open between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday. We can provide assistance via email at email@example.com or by telephone on 1300 341 665.
ROC staff are taking all necessary and reasonable precautions to minimise the spread of COVID-19. This means our offices are closed to the public until further notice, and we are also presently unable to conduct on-site visits to provide organisations with advice face-to-face.
Where to get further assistance
If you require information about the Australian government’s response to COVID-19, please visit australia.gov.au . This site is being updated regularly with official advice and information as the situation changes.
The Australian Government Department of Health website has the latest information on the virus, including requirements and conditions for quarantine periods.
For information about your workplace entitlements and obligations if you’re affected by the outbreak of coronavirus, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.
Information on COVID-19 and work health and safety for employers and employees is available from Safe Work Australia .