Labour Relations Act

Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995

Legal Services


Click on a section of the Labour Relations Act below to view the section:

Chapter One

Purpose, Application and Interpretation


1.            Purpose of this Act

2.            Exclusion from application of this Act

3.            Interpretation of this Act


Chapter Two

Freedom of Association and General Protections

4.            Employees' right to freedom of association

5.            Protection of employees and persons seeking employment

6.            Employers' right to freedom of association

7.            Protection of employers' rights

8.            Rights of trade unions and employers' organisations

9.            Procedure for disputes

10.        Burden of proof


Chapter Three

Collective Bargaining


Part A: Organisational Rights

11.        Trade union representativeness

12.        Trade union access to workplace

13.        Deduction of trade union subscriptions or levies

14.        Trade union representatives

15.        Leave for trade union activities

16.        Disclosure of information

17.        Restricted rights in domestic sector

18.        Right to establish thresholds of representativeness

19.        Certain organisational rights for trade union party to council

20.        Organisational rights in collective agreements

21.        Exercise of rights conferred by this Part

22.        Disputes about organisational rights


Part B: Collective Agreements

23.        Legal effect of collective agreement

24.        Disputes about collective agreements

25.        Agency shop agreements

26.        Closed shop agreements


Part C: Bargaining Council

27.        Establishment of bargaining councils

28.        Powers and functions of bargaining council

29.        Registration of bargaining councils

30.        Constitution of bargaining council

31.        Binding nature of collective agreement concluded in bargaining council

32.        Extension of collective agreement concluded in bargaining council

33.        Appointment and powers of designated agents of bargaining councils

33A. Enforcement of collective agreements by bargaining councils

34.        Amalgamation of bargaining councils


Part D: Bargaining Councils In The Public Service

35.        Bargaining councils in public service

36.        Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council

37.        Bargaining councils in sectors in public service

38.        Dispute resolution committee


Part E: Statutory Councils

39.        Application to establish statutory council

40.        Establishment and registration of statutory council

41.        Establishment and registration of statutory council in absence of agreement

42.        Certificate of registration of statutory council

43.        Powers and functions of statutory councils

44.        Ministerial determinations

45.        Disputes about determinations

46.        Withdrawal of party from statutory council

47.        Appointment of new representative of statutory council

48.        Change of status of statutory council


Part F: General Provisions Concerning Councils

49.        Representativeness of council

50.        Effect of registration of council

51.        Dispute resolution functions of council

52.        Accreditation of council or appointment of accredited agency

53.        Accounting records and audits

54.        Duty to keep records and provide information to registrar

55.        Delegation of functions to committee of council

56.        Admission of parties to council

57.        Changing constitution or name of council

58.        Variation of registered scope of council

59.        Winding-up of council

60.        Winding-up of council by reason of insolvency

61.        Cancellation of registration of council

62.        Disputes about demarcation between sectors and areas

63.        Disputes about Parts A and C to F


Chapter four

Strikes and Lock-Outs

64.        Right to strike and recourse to lockout

65.        Limitations on right to strike or recourse to lockout

66.        Secondary strikes

67.        Strike or lockout in compliance with this Act

68.        Strike or lockout not in compliance with this Act

69.        Picketing

70.        Essential services committee

71.        Designating a service as an essential service

72.        Minimum services

73.        Disputes about whether a service is an essential service

74.        Disputes in essential services

75.        Maintenance services

76.        Replacement labour

77.        Protest action to promote or defend socio-economic interests of workers


Chapter five

Workplace Forums


78.        Definitions in this Chapter

79.        General functions of workplace forum

80.        Establishment of workplace forum

81.        Trade union based workplace forum

82.        Requirements for constitution of workplace forum

83.        Meetings of workplace forum

84.        Specific matters for consultation

85.        Consultation

86.        Joint decision-making

87.        Review at request of newly established workplace forum

88.        Matters affecting more than one workplace forum in an employer's operation

89.        Disclosure of information

90.        Inspection and copies of documents

91.        Breach of confidentiality

92.        Full-time members of workplace forum

93.        Dissolution of workplace forum

94.        Disputes about workplace forums


Chapter six

Trade Unions and Employers' Organisations


Part A: Registration and Regulation of Trade Unions and Employers' Organisations

95.        Requirements for registration of trade unions or employers' organisations

96.        Registration of trade unions or employers' organisations

97.        Effect of registration of trade union or employers' organisation

98.        Accounting records and audits

99.        Duty to keep records

100.     Duty to provide information to registrar

101.     Changing constitution or name of registered trade unions or employers' organisations

102.     Amalgamation of trade unions or employers' organisations

103.     Winding-up of registered trade unions or registered employers' organisations

104.     Winding-up of trade unions or employers' organisations by reason of insolvency

105.     Cancellation of registration of trade union that is no longer independent

106.     Cancellation of registration of trade unions or employers' organisations


Part B: Regulation of Federations of Trade Unions and Employers' Organisations

107.     Regulation of federations of trade unions or employers' organisations


Part C: Registrar of Labour Relations

108.     Appointment of registrar of labour relations

109.     Functions of registrar

110.     Access to information


Part D: Appeals from Registrar's Decision

111.     Appeals from registrar's decision


Chapter seven

Dispute Resolution


Part A-Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration

112.     Establishment of Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration

113.     Independence of Commission

114.     Area of jurisdiction and offices of Commission

115.     Functions of Commission

116.     Governing body of Commission

117.     Commissioners of Commission

118.     Director of Commission

119.     Acting director of Commission

120.     Staff of Commission

121.     Establishment of committees of Commission

122.     Finances of Commission

123.     Circumstances in which Commission may charge fees

124.     Contracting by Commission, and Commission working in association with any person

125.     Delegation of governing body's powers, functions and duties

126.     Limitation of liability and limitation on disclosure of information


Part B: Accreditation of and Subsidy to Councils and Private Agencies

127.     Accreditation of councils and private agencies

128.     General provisions relating to accreditation

129.     Amendment of accreditation

130.     Withdrawal of accreditation

131.     Application to renew accreditation

132.     Subsidy to council or private agency


Part C: Resolution of Disputes under Auspices of Commission

133.     Resolution of disputes under auspices of Commission

134.     Disputes about matters of mutual interest

135.     Resolution of disputes through conciliation

136.     Appointment of commissioner to resolve dispute through arbitration

137.     Appointment of senior commissioner to resolve dispute through arbitration

138.     General provisions for arbitration proceedings

139.     Special provisions for arbitrating disputes in essential services

140.     Special provisions for arbitrations about dismissals for reasons related to conduct or capacity

141.     Resolution of disputes if parties consent to arbitration under auspices of Commission

142.     Powers of commissioner when attempting to resolve disputes

143.     Effect of arbitration awards

144.     Variation and rescission of arbitration awards

145.     Review of arbitration awards

146.     Exclusion of Arbitration Act

147.     Performance of dispute resolution functions by Commission in exceptional circumstances

148.     Commission may provide advice

149.     Commission may provide assistance

150.     Commission may offer to resolve


Part D: Labour Court

151.     Establishment and status of Labour Court

152.     Composition of Labour Court

153.     Appointment of judges of Labour Court

154.     Tenure, remuneration and terms and conditions of appointment of Labour Court judges

155.     Officers of Labour Court

156.     Area of jurisdiction and seat of Labour Court

157.     Jurisdiction of Labour Court

158.     Powers of Labour Court

159.     Rules Board for Labour Courts and rules for Labour Court

160.     Proceedings of Labour Court to be carried on in open court

161.     Representation before Labour Court

162.     Costs

163.     Service and enforcement of orders of Labour Court

164.     Seal of Labour Court

165.     Variation and rescission of orders of Labour Court

166.     Appeals against judgement or order of Labour Court


Part E: Labour Appeal Court

167.     Establishment and status of Labour Appeal Court

168.     Composition of Labour Appeal Court

169.     Appointment of other judges of Labour Appeal Court

170.     Tenure, remuneration and terms and conditions of appointment of Labour Appeal Court judges

171.     Officers of Labour Appeal Court

172.     Area of jurisdiction and seat of Labour Appeal Court

173.     Jurisdiction of Labour Appeal Court

174.     Powers of Labour Appeal Court on hearing of appeals

175.     Labour Appeal Court may sit as court of first instance

176.     Rules for Labour Appeal Court

177.     Proceedings of Labour Appeal Court to be carried on in open court

178.     Representation before Labour Appeal Court

179.     Costs

180.     Service and enforcement of orders

181.     Seal of Labour Appeal Court

182.     Judgements of Labour Appeal Court binding on Labour Court

183.     Labour Appeal Court final court of appeal


Part F: General Provisions Applicable To Courts Established By This Act

184.     General provisions applicable to courts established by this Act


Chapter Eight

Unfair Dismissal

185.     Right not to be unfairly dismissed

186.     Meaning of dismissal

187.     Automatically unfair dismissals

188.     Other unfair dismissals

189.     Dismissals based on operational requirements

190.     Date of dismissal

191.     Disputes about unfair dismissals

192.     Onus in dismissal disputes

193.     Remedies for unfair dismissal

194.     Limits on compensation

195.     Compensation is in addition to any other amount

196.     Severance pay

197.     Transfer of contract of employment


Chapter Nine

General Provisions


198.     Temporary Employment Services

199.     Contracts of employment may not disregard or waive collective agreements or arbitration awards

200.     Representation of employees or employers

201.     Confidentiality

202.     Service of documents

203.     Codes of good practice

204.     Collective agreement, arbitration award or wage determination to be kept by employer

205.     Records to be kept by employer

206.     Effect of certain defects and irregularities

207.     Ministers empowered to add and change to Schedules

208.     Regulations

208A. Delegations

209.     This Act binds the State

210.     Application of Act when in conflict with other laws

211.     Amendment of laws

212.     Repeal of laws, and transitional arrangements

213.     Definitions

214.     Short title and commencement


Schedule one: Establishment of Bargaining Councils for Public Service

Schedule two: Guidelines for Constitution of Workplace Forum

 Schedule three: Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration

 Schedule Four: Dispute Resolution: Flow Diagrams

Schedule Five: Amendment of Laws

Schedule Six: Laws Repealed By Section 212

 Schedule Seven: Transitional Arrangements

 Part A: Definitions for This Schedule

Part B: Unfair Labour Practices

Part C: Provisions Concerning Existing Trade Unions, Employers' Organisations, Industrial Councils and Conciliation Boards

Part D: Matters Concerning Public Service

Part E: Disputes and Courts

Part F: Pension Matters

Part G: Essential Services

Schedule Eight: Code of Good Practice: Dismissal