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

Chapter I : Purpose, Application and Interpretation

1. Purpose of this Act



(1) The purpose of this Act1 is to advance economic development, social justice, labour peace and the democratisation of the workplace by fulfilling the primary objects of this Act, which are—
(a) to give effect to and regulate the fundamental rights conferred by section 23 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 2;

[Paragraph (1)(a) substituted by section 1 of Act No. 6 of 2014]

(b) to give effect to obligations incurred by the Republic as a member state of the International Labour Organisation;
(c) to provide a framework within which employees and their trade unions, employers and employers’ organisations can—
(i) collectively bargain to determine wages, terms and conditions of employment and other matters of mutual interest; and
(ii) formulate industrial policy; and
(d) to promote—
(i) orderly collective bargaining;
(ii) collective bargaining at sectoral level;
(iii) employee participation in decision-making in the workplace; and
(iv) the effective resolution of labour disputes.



1 An italicised word or phrase indicates that the word or phrase is defined in section 213 of this Act. In the hypertext version the italicised words are replaced by underlined green words which, when clicked, pop up the appropriate definition from Section 213.


2 Section 27, which is in the Chapter on Fundamental Rights in the Constitution entrenches the following rights :
(a) Every person shall have the right to fair labour practices
(b) Workers shall have the right to form and join trade unions, and employers shall have the right to form and join employers' organisations.
(c) Workers and employers shall have the right to organise and bargain collectively.
(d) Workers shall have the right to strike for the purpose of collective bargaining.
(e) Employers' recourse to the lock-out for the purpose of collective bargaining shall not be impaired, subject to subsection 33(1).