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

Chapter III : Collective Bargaining

Part B : Collective Agreements

25. Agency shop agreements

 

 

(1) A representative trade union and an employer or employers' organisation may conclude a collective agreement, to be known as an agency shop agreement, requiring the employer to deduct an agreed agency fee from the wages of employees identified in the agreement who are not members of the trade union, but are eligible for membership thereof.

 

(2) For the purposes of this section, "representative trade union" means a registered trade union, or two or more registered trade unions acting jointly, whose members are a majority of the employees employed:
(a) by an employer in a workplace; or
(b) by the members of an employers' organisation in a sector and area in respect of which the agency shop agreement applies.

 

(3) An agency shop agreement is binding only if it provides that:
(a) employees who are not members of the representative trade union are not compelled to become members of that trade union;
(b) the agreed agency fee must be equivalent to, or less than:
(i) the amount of the subscription payable by the members of the representative trade union;
(ii) if the subscription of the representative trade union is calculated as a percentage of an employee's salary, that percentage; or
(iii) if there are two or more registered trade unions party to the agreement, the highest amount of the subscription that would apply to an employee;
(c) the amount deducted must be paid into a separate account administered by the representative trade union; and
(d) no agency fee deducted may be:
(i) paid to a political party as an affiliation fee;
(ii) contributed in cash or kind to a political party or a person standing for election to any political office; or
(iii) used for any expenditure that does not advance or protect the Socio-economic interests of employees.

 

(4)
(a) Despite the provisions of any law or contract, an employer may deduct the agreed agency fee from the wages of an employee without the employee's authorization.
(b) Despite subsection 3(c) a conscientious objector may request the employer to pay the amount deducted from that employee's wages into a fund administered by the Department of Labour.

 

(5) The provisions of sections 98 and 100(b) and (c) apply, read with the changes required by the context, to the separate account referred to in subsection (3)(c).

 

(6) Any person may inspect the auditor's report, in so far as it relates to an account referred to in subsection (3)(c), in the registrar's office.

 

(7) The registrar must provide a certified copy of, or extract from, any of the documents referred to in subsection (6) to any person who has paid the prescribed fees.

 

(8) An employer or employers' organisation that alleges that a trade union is no longer a representative trade union in terms of subsection (1) must give the trade union written notice of the allegation, and must allow the trade union 90 days from the date of the notice to establish that it is a representative trade union.

 

(9) If, within the 90-day period, the trade union fails to establish that it is a representative trade union, the employer must give the trade union and the employees covered by the agency shop agreement 30 days' notice of termination, after which the agreement will terminate.

 

(10) If an agency shop agreement is terminated, the provisions of subsection (3)(c) and (d) and (5) apply until the money in the separate account is spent.