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

Chapter V : Workplace Forums

86. Joint decision-making



(1) Unless the matters for joint decision-making are regulated by a collective agreement with the representative trade union, an employer must consult and reach consensus with a workplace forum before implementing any proposal concerning—
(a) disciplinary codes and procedures;
(b) rules relating to the proper regulation of the workplace in so far as they apply to conduct not related to the work performance of employees;
(c) measures designed to protect and advance persons disadvantaged by unfair discrimination; and
(d) changes by the employer or by employer-appointed representatives on trusts or boards of employer-controlled schemes, to the rules regulating social benefit schemes.


(2) A representative trade union and an employer may conclude a collective agreement:
(a) conferring on the workplace forum the right to joint decision-making in respect of additional matters in that workplace;
(b) removing any matter referred to in subsection (1)(a) to (d) from the list of matters requiring joint decision-making.


(3) Any other law may confer on a workplace forum the right to participate in joint decision-making about additional matters.


(4) If the employer does not reach consensus with the workplace forum, the employer may—
(a) refer the dispute to arbitration in terms of any agreed procedure; or
(b) if there is no agreed procedure, refer the dispute to the Commission.


(5) The employer must satisfy the Commission that a copy of the referral has been served on the chairperson of the workplace forum.


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


(7) If the dispute remains unresolved, the employer may request that the dispute be resolved through arbitration. (See flow diagram No. 9 in Schedule 4.)


(a) An arbitration award is about a proposal referred to in subsection (1)(d) takes effect 30 days after the date of the award.
(b) Any representative on the trust or board may apply to the Labour Court for an order declaring that the implementation of the award constitutes a breach of a fiduciary duty on the part of that representative.
(c) Despite paragraph(a), the award will not take effect pending the determination by the Labour Court of an application made in terms of paragraph (b).


(9) For the purposes of workplace forums in the public service, a collective agreement referred to in subsections (1) and (2) is a collective agreement concluded in a bargaining council.