Registered organisations are associations of employers or employees that have been registered under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (the RO Act). A registered organisation may also be referred to as a union or an employer association.

Rights and responsibilities of registered organisations

Registered organisations must comply with the requirements set out in the following legislation:

The legislation requires that registered organisations also comply with the Financial Reporting Guidelines issued under section 255 of the RO Act, any relevant Australian Accounting Standards or Auditing Standards and their own rules.

Compliance with these requirements by registered organisations is overseen by the Commission.

Annual returns and notification of changes 

Each year registered organisations need to provide a record of their membership, offices and branches as part of an annual return lodged with the Commission. In addition, certain records need to be updated whenever circumstances change in a registered organisation. To find out more, visit Annual returns and notification of changes.


Every office within a registered organisation and its branches must be elected. There are set processes to follow in order to organise an election. Elections are triggered by notifying the Commission of the election details and, once approved, an election is conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission. To find out more, visit Elections.

Financial reporting and governance

Registered organisations must follow the RO Act, which has laws in it on financial reporting, training and disclosure. The Commission helps registered organisations operate in line with these laws. Find more information about your financial obligations.

Disclosure obligations

Officers, branches and organisations have obligations to disclose particular financial information. This information is sent to members and lodged with the Commission in an Officer and Related Party disclosure statement.