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The Coalition's commitment to fairness and transparency in workplaces



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JUN 17 2016

The Coalition's commitment to fairness and transparency in workplaces

Today the Coalition announced that a re-elected Turnbull Government will be

adopting recommendations of the Heydon Royal Commission relating to

registered organisations and the building industry.

Unions and employer associations play a critical role in the workplace relations

system and the economy more broadly, and their members place a great deal of

trust in them. The building industry is Australia’s third-largest employer and its

health is vital to the health of the economy.

It is therefore essential that unions and employers operate in a transparent and

accountable manner and that the building industry is fair, safe and lawful.

A re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government will:

Re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission to restore

the rule of law and boost productivity and fairness in the building and

construction industry;

Legislate to allow the courts to ban officials of registered organisations from

holding office where they repeatedly break the law;

Codify the obligation for officials of registered organisations to act in the

best interests of members by putting members’ interests before their own;

declaring any financial benefits they receive; and dealing properly with any

conflicts of interest;

Outlaw ‘corrupting benefits’ - payments between an employer and union

that are not covered by legitimate exemptions;

Require disclosure to employees of any legitimate financial payments

between employers and unions;

Enable courts to place registered organisations (or individual divisions or

branches) in administration or deregister them if they become dysfunctional

or are no longer serving the interests of their members, as is the case with

companies under the corporations law;

Introduce new sanctions for the deliberate falsification of membership

records; and

Introduce a new public interest test for mergers of registered organisations,

which will allow relevant matters to be taken into account, such as the

organisations’ history of compliance with workplace laws.

Australian workers deserve to know that their employers and their unions are

acting ethically and honestly and in their best interests.

The Coalition’s strong new laws will impose strong obligations and employers,

employer organisations and unions, with strong penalties for anyone that does

the wrong thing.

Only the Turnbull Coalition Government will act in the national interest to ensure

that fairness, transparency and the rule of law apply in all Australian workplaces.