Getting ready for the July 2024 changes
Changes to how you resolve internal grievances and disclose remuneration to your members in your incorporated association will begin on 1 July 2024.
You should understand how they’ll affect your organisation and what you need to do to get ready.
Dispute resolution procedures
Your incorporated associations will need to follow the grievance procedures in the model rules or adopt another compliant procedure into your constitution.
This will give associations a formal process to handle internal conflicts and help parties resolve them before they incur legal costs.
While the grievance procedure won’t become part of the model rules until 1 July, you can preview them to see if you would like to use them or adopt your own.
If you don’t have a grievance procedure
If you wish to follow the model rules’ grievance procedure, you won’t need to make any changes to your constitution—the model rules procedure will automatically apply.
If you wish to follow a custom grievance procedure, you will need to adopt it into your constitution.
If you already have a grievance procedure
If you already have a compliant grievance procedure in your constitution, you can continue to follow it. You will not need to make any changes to your constitution.
If your grievance procedure does not comply
If you have a grievance procedure in your rules that will not comply with the upcoming changes, it will be invalid and you will need to follow the model rules grievance procedure.
If you wish to follow your own grievance procedure, you will need to adopt a compliant version into your constitution.
Learn more about rules for associations and how to change them.
How to create a compliant grievance procedure
When creating your own grievance procedure, it must comply with section 47A of the Associations Incorporation Act 1981, which means it needs to:
- allow a member to appoint any person to act on their behalf
- give each party an opportunity to be heard
- allow unbiased mediation if the dispute cannot initially be resolved
- ensure a decision-maker is unbiased if the grievance procedure allows a person to decide the outcome of the dispute.
If a grievance is not resolved
Sometimes grievances cannot be resolved within an association. This may be because the parties can’t reach an agreement, or it may be that one or both parties would not follow the grievance procedure.
In this case, either party may apply to the Supreme Court to make a decision on the dispute.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) cannot settle disputes between associations and their members—only the Supreme Court can interfere with the running of an incorporated association.
From 1 July 2024, all incorporated associations will need to disclose remuneration and other benefits at their annual general meeting (AGM), even if the amount to report is zero. This applies to benefits and remuneration given to management committee members, senior staff and their relatives.
Remuneration and benefits may be disclosed as the total value given to all persons, but must include the number of people who benefited. This requirement will provide greater transparency and accountability within associations and enable members to assess if remuneration and benefits paid to key individuals were an appropriate use of the association’s resources.
Incorporated associations registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission who are exempt from submitting annual financial reports to OFT are not exempt from this requirement.
How to disclose remuneration and benefits
Your association must disclose remuneration and other benefits at its AGM in either:
- a document required by the Act to be presented at your AGM (e.g. your financial statements or the information you provide to the ACNC)
- a written remuneration statement for the financial year.
If your association did not provide remuneration or other benefits, you can state this verbally, but it must be recorded in the AGM minutes.
For more information:
- read section 8 of the Associations Incorporation and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2023
- learn about other changes to incorporated association law.