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A Registrar was appointed to the Court of Industrial Arbitration and given the power to appoint such officers as may be required under the Industrial Arbitration Act, No. 59 of 1901. This Act was placed under the administration of the Department of Attorney General and Justice from 12 December 1901.(1) The Registry was known as the Industrial Arbitration Office and was responsible for determining applications for permits to work less than award rates, receipt of applications for determination by the Court and carrying out the orders of the Court.(2)
The Industrial Disputes 1908 (Act, No. 3, 1908) provided for the constitution of boards to determine the conditions of employment in industries. In addition to the duties previously mentioned, the Registrar became responsible for the executive work connected with the constitution and control of the boards. There were 213 of these boards by 1912.(3)
The Industrial Arbitration Act,1912 (Act No. 17, 1912) provided for the constitution of a Court of Arbitration as well as that of the boards. This Act was placed under the administration of the then Department of Labour and Industry on 17 April 1912 and the Industrial Registrar classed as Permanent Head of the Department(4). This Act also allowed for the constitution of Conciliation Committees by the Minister. These Committees applied to colliery districts only and had the power to look into any industrial matter regarding coal or metalliferous mining within its district. The Industrial Registrar became responsible for some of the administrative work connected with the Conciliation Committees.
The Industrial Commission was appointed under the Industrial Arbitration (Amendment) Act, 1926 (Act No. 14, 1926), assuming the powers and duties of the Court of Arbitration and the NSW Board of Trade. The Industrial Registrar continued to provide administrative support to this body. The boundaries of Conciliation Committees were extended under this legislation, no longer being restricted to the colliery industry. A Conciliation Commissioner was appointed under the Industrial Arbitration Amendment Act, 1932 (Act No. 39, 1932). This position assumed the powers and duties of the Deputy Commissioner as well as those of any chairman of a Conciliation Committee.
On 1 July 1936 the Industrial Registrar became responsible for registering trade unions as well as industrial unions, a duty which had previously been performed by the Registrar of Friendly Societies under the Trade Union Act, 1881. This change was directed by the Trade Union (Amendment) Act, 1926 (Act No.23, 1936).
The Industrial Arbitration Act, 1991 (Act No.34, 1991) changed the way in which unions were registered. Instead of being registered as a "Trade Union" under the Trade Union Act, 1881 or as an "industrial union" under the Industrial Arbitration Act, 1940 they were registered as "organisations". There are three types of organisations, industrial organisations of employers, industrial organisations of employees and non-industrial organisations. The Industrial Register was responsible for administering this and was required to submit an annual report(5).
In 1997 the Registry was situated under the administration of the Department of Industrial Relations (the former Department of Labour and Industry), as of 6 April 1995. It served the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales as well as industrial organisations, employers and employees, members of the legal profession and lay industrial advocates. The duties of the Registry included providing support to the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales, registering enterprise agreements, registering industrial unions, publishing awards and administering the Employment Protection Act 1982.(6)
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NSW State Records Archives Investigator record for Industrial Arbitration Office (1901-1908) Industrial Registrar's Office (1908 -1926) Industrial Registry (1926- )