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

Chapter III : Collective Bargaining

Part A : Organisational Rights

16. Disclosure of information

 

 

(1) For the purposes of this section, "representative trade union means a registered trade union, or two or more registered trade unions acting jointly, that have as members the majority of the employees employed by an employer in a workplace.

 

(2) Subject to subsection (5), an employer must disclose to a trade union representative all relevant information that will allow the trade union representative to perform effectively the functions referred to in section 14(4).

 

(3) Subject to subsection (5), whenever an employer is consulting or bargaining with a representative trade union, the employer must disclose to the representative trade union all relevant information that will allow the representative trade union to engage effectively in consultation or collective bargaining.

 

(4) The employer must notify the trade union representative or the representative trade union in writing if any information disclosed in terms of subsection (2) or (3) is confidential.

 

(5) An employer is not required to disclose information—
(a) that is legally privileged;
(b) that the employer cannot disclose without contravening a prohibition imposed on the employer by any law or order of any court;
(c) that is confidential and, if disclosed, may cause substantial harm to an employee or the employer; or
(d) that is private personal information relating to an employee, unless that employee consents to the disclosure of that information.

 

(6) If there is a dispute about what information is required to be disclosed in terms of this section, any party to the dispute may refer the dispute in writing to the Commission.

 

(7) The party who refers the dispute to the Commission must satisfy it that a copy of the referral has been served on all the other parties to the dispute.

 

(8) The Commission must attempt to resolve the dispute through conciliation.

 

(9) If the dispute remains unresolved, any party to the dispute may request that the dispute be resolved through arbitration.

 

(10) In any dispute about the disclosure of information contemplated in subsection (6), the commissioner must first decide whether or not the information is relevant.

 

(11) If the commissioner decides that the information is relevant and if it is information contemplated in subsection (5)(c) or (d), the commissioner must balance the harm that the disclosure is likely to cause to an employee or employer against the harm that the failure to disclose the information is likely to cause to the ability of a trade union representative to perform effectively the functions referred to in section 14(4) or the ability of a representative trade union to engage effectively in consultation or collective bargaining.

 

(12) If the commissioner decides that the balance of harm favours the disclosure of the information, the commissioner may order the disclosure of the information on terms designed to limit the harm likely to be caused to the employee or employer.

 

(13) When making an order in terms of subsection (12), the commissioner must take into account any breach of confidentiality in respect of information disclosed in terms of this section at that workplace and may refuse to order the disclosure of the information or any other confidential information which might otherwise be disclosed for a period specified in the arbitration award.

 

(14) In any dispute about an alleged breach of confidentiality, the commissioner may order that the right to disclosure of information in that workplace be withdrawn for a period specified in the arbitration award.