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Basic Guide to Bargaining Councils

by admin — last modified 2008-05-30 15:47

Trade unions and employers’ organisations may form bargaining councils.  Bargaining councils deal with collective agreements, solve labour disputes, establish various schemes and make proposals on labour policies and laws.


The Labour Relations Act applies to all employers, workers, trade unions and employers’ organisations, but does not apply to -
  • members of the:
    • National Defence Force;
    • National Intelligence Agency; or
    • South African Secret Service.


  • Labour Relations Act
    Applies to all workers and employers and aims to advance economic development, social justice, labour peace and the democracy of the workplace.


One or more registered trade unions and one or more registered employers’ organisations may form a bargaining council by –
  • adopting a constitution; and
  • registering the bargaining council by submitting to the registrar –
    • the application form (Form LRA 3.3),
    • a copy of its constitution, and
    • any other relevant information.

Based on Legislation in Section 29, of the Labour Relations Act

Powers and Functions

The main powers and functions of a bargaining council are to:
  • make and enforce collective agreements;
  • prevent and resolve labour disputes;
  • establish and manage a dispute resolution fund;
  • promote and establish training and education schemes;
  • establish and manage schemes or funds to benefit its parties or members; and
  • make and submit proposals on policies and laws that affect a sector or area.

Based on Legislation in Section 28, of the Labour Relations Act

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