Registering as a union

Things you should know before you register

Under the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA), any group of employees can set up and register as a union. To do this, the group must first become an incorporated society – under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 (ISA) – and then register as a union under the ERA.

To achieve both these things, the union must:

  • must have at least 15 members (ISA)
  • be independent of employers (ERA)
  • have a set of union rules that comply with both the ISA and the ERA.

Before applying to incorporate as an incorporated society and register as a union, please ensure that you:

1. Understand the requirements of the ISA, and have read the information on this website about starting an incorporated society:

2. Understand the union registration provisions in the ERA, and have read the information on this website about what the Act requires:

3. Read the information on this website about how to create a set of union rules.