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Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995)

Chapter VII : Dispute Resolution

Part C : Resolution of disputes under auspices of Commission

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

 

 

(1)
(a) If at any stage after a dispute has been referred to the Commission, it becomes apparent that the dispute is about the interpretation or application of a collective agreement, the Commission may—
(i) refer the dispute for resolution in terms of the procedures provided for in that collective agreement; or
(ii) appoint a commissioner or, if one has been appointed, confirm the appointment of the commissioner, to resolve the dispute in terms of this Act.
(b) The Commission may charge the parties to a collective agreement a fee for performing the dispute resolution functions if—
(i) their collective agreement does not provide a procedure as required by section 24(1); 39 or
(ii) the procedure provided in the collective agreement is not operative.
(c) The Commission may charge a party to a collective agreement a fee if that party has frustrated the resolution of the dispute.

 

(2)
(a) If at any stage after a dispute has been referred to the Commission, it becomes apparent that the parties to the dispute are parties to a council, the Commission may—
(i) refer the dispute to the council for resolution; or
(ii) appoint a commissioner or, if one has been appointed, confirm the appointment of the commissioner, to resolve the dispute in terms of this Act.
(b) The Commission may charge the parties to a council a fee for performing the dispute resolution functions if the council's dispute resolution procedures are not operative.

 

(3)
(a) If at any stage after a dispute has been referred to the Commission, it becomes apparent that the parties to the dispute fall within the registered scope of a council and that one or more parties to the dispute are not parties to the council, the Commission may—
(i) refer the dispute to the council for resolution; or
(ii) appoint a commissioner or, if one has been appointed, confirm the appointment of the commissioner, to resolve the dispute in terms of this Act.
(b) The Commission may charge the parties to a council a fee for performing the dispute resolution functions if the council's dispute resolution procedures are not operative.

 

(4)
(a) If a dispute has been referred to the Commission and not all the parties to the dispute fall within the registered scope of a council or fall within the registered scope of two or more councils, the Commission must resolve the dispute in terms of this Act.
(b) In the circumstances contemplated in paragraph (a), the Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to resolve that dispute.

 

(5)
(a) If at any stage after a dispute has been referred to the Commission, it becomes apparent that the dispute ought to have been referred to an accredited agency, the Commission may—
(i) refer the dispute to the accredited agency for resolution; or
(ii) appoint a commissioner to resolve the dispute in terms of this Act.
(b) The Commission may—
(i) charge the accredited agency a fee for performing the dispute resolution functions if the accredited agency's dispute resolution procedures are not operative; and
(ii) review the continued accreditation of that agency.

 

(6) If at any stage after a dispute has been referred to the Commission, it becomes apparent that the dispute ought to have been resolved through private dispute resolution in terms of a private agreement between the parties to the dispute, the Commission may—
(a) refer the dispute to the appropriate person or body for resolution through private dispute resolution procedures; or
(b) appoint a commissioner to resolve the dispute in terms of this Act.

 

(6A) For the purpose of making a decision in terms of subsection (6), the Commission must appoint a commissioner to resolve the dispute—
(a) if an employee earning less than the threshold prescribed by the Minister, in terms of section 6(3) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, is required to pay any part of the cost of the private dispute resolution procedures; or
(b) if the person or body appointed to resolve the dispute is not independent of the employer.

[Subsection (6A) inserted by section 23 of Act No. 6 of 2014]

 

(7) Where the Commission refers the dispute in terms of this section to a person or body other than a commissioner the date of the Commission's initial receipt of the dispute will be deemed to be the date on which the Commission referred the dispute elsewhere.

 

(8) The Commission may perform any of the dispute resolution functions of a council or an accredited agency appointed by the council if the council or accredited agency fails to perform its dispute resolution functions in circumstances where, in law, there is an obligation to perform them.

 

(9) For the purposes of subsections (2) and (3), a party to a council includes the members of a registered trade union or registered employers' organisation that is a party to the council.

 

39 Section 24(1) states that every collective agreement must provide for a procedure to resolve any dispute about the interpretation or application of the collective agreement.