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

Chapter V : Workplace Forums

82. Requirements for constitution of workplace forum

 

 

(1) The constitution of every workplace forum must—
(a) establish a formula for determining the number of seats in the workplace forum;
(b) establish a formula for the distribution of seats in the workplace forum so as to reflect the occupational structure of the workplace;
(c) provide for the direct election of members of the workplace forum by the employees in the workplace;
(d) provide for the appointment of an employee as an election officer to conduct elections and define that officer's functions and powers;
(e) provide that an election of members of the workplace forum must be held not later than 24 months after each preceding election;
(f) provide that if another registered trade union becomes representative, it may demand a new election at any time within 21 months after each preceding election;
(g) provide for the procedure and manner in which elections and ballots must be conducted;
(h) provide that any employee, including any former or current member of the workplace forum, may be nominated as a candidate for election as a member of the workplace forum by—
(i) any registered trade union with members employed in the work-place; or
(ii) a petition signed by not less than 20 per cent of the employees in the workplace or 100 employees, whichever number of employees is the smaller;
(i) provide that in any ballot every employee is entitled—
(i) to vote by secret ballot; and
(ii) to vote during working hours at the employer's premises;
(j) provide that in an election for members of the workplace forum every employee is entitled, unless the constitution provides otherwise—
(i) to cast a number of votes equal to the number of members to be elected; and
(ii) to cast one or more of those votes in favour of any candidate;
(k) establish the terms of office of members of the workplace forum and the circumstances in which a member must vacate that office;
(l) establish the circumstances and manner in which members of the workplace forum may be removed from office, including the right of any representative trade union that nominated a member for election to remove that member at any time;
(m) establish the manner in which vacancies in the workplace forum may be filled, including the rules for holding by-elections;
(n) establish the circumstances and manner in which the meetings referred to in section 83 must be held;
(o) provide that the employer must allow the election officer reasonable time off with pay during working hours to prepare for and conduct elections;
(p) provide that the employer must allow each member of the workplace forum reasonable time off with pay during working hours to perform the functions of a member of the workplace forum and to receive training relevant to the performance of those functions;
(q) require the employer to take any steps that are reasonably necessary to assist the election officer to conduct elections;
(r) require the employer to provide facilities to enable the workplace forum to perform its functions;
(s) provide for the designation of full-time members of the workplace forum if there are more than 1000 employees in a workplace;
(t) provide that the workplace forum may invite any expert to attend its meetings, including meetings with the employer or the employees, and that an expert is entitled to any information to which the workplace forum is entitled and to inspect and copy any document that members of the workplace forum are entitled to inspect and copy;
(u) provide that office-bearers or officials of the representative trade union may attend meetings of the workplace forum including meetings with the employer or the employees;
(v) provide that the representative trade union and the employer, by agreement, may change the constitution of the workplace forum; and
(w) establish the manner in which decisions are to be made.

 

(2) The constitution of a workplace forum may—
(a) establish a procedure that provides for the conciliation and arbitration of proposals in respect of which the employer and the workplace forum do not reach consensus;
(b) establish a co-ordinating workplace forum to perform any of the general functions of a workplace forum and one or more subsidiary workplace forums to perform any of the specific functions of a workplace forum; and
(c) include provisions that depart from sections 83 to 92.

 

(3) The constitution of a workplace forum binds the employer.

 

(4) The Minister for the Public Service and Administration may amend the requirements for a constitution in terms of this section for workplace forums in the public service by a schedule promulgated in terms of section 207(4).