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


National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry

Main Collective Agreement

Part C : Provisions for the KwaZulu-Natal Region

35. Sick Benefit Fund



(1) The Sick Benefit Fund (hereinafter referred to as the "Fund") established under Government Notice No. 1845 of 11 November 1938, is hereby continued. The Fund shall be maintained from levies in terms of subclause (3) hereof.


(2) Within two weeks of an employee entering the Industry he may, at the discretion of the Management Committee, be required to present himself to one of the Fund's medical officers for a medical examination and shall complete forms giving his past medical history. The Management Committee referred to in subclause (6) (a) may thereafter exclude such employee from receiving benefits for any illness due to chronic ailment: Provided that an employee may appeal against such exclusion to the Council whose decision shall be final.


(3) Subject to subclause (14), an employer shall deduct 1,5% per week of the wage of each employee who has worked during that week, irrespective of the time worked.



(a) In addition to the amounts so deducted, the employer shall contribute 1,75% per week of the employee's wage in respect of each employee who has worked during that week, irrespective of the time so worked.
(b) The employer shall add his contribution to that deducted from each employee's weekly earnings and shall forward this total to the Secretary of the Fund, P.O.Box 18354, Dalbridge, 4014, so as to reach the said Secretary not later than 10 days after the end of each calendar month, together with a list showing the Council registration numbers of the employees and the amounts.



(a) The fund shall be applied to provide employees with medical treatment, medicine and sick pay in case of illness.
(b) The Council shall contribute R150 000,00 from the Fund to HIV/AIDS education and treatment programmes during the period of operation of this Amending Agreement.



(a) The Fund shall be administered by a Management Committee consisting of one representative each from the employers and employees appointed by the Council, together with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council, who shall be ex officio members of the Management Committee, who may make regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this clause.
(b) For each representative an alternative shall be appointed.
(c) All the decisions of the Management Committee shall be subject to ratification by the Council.


(7) For the purpose of benefits, sickness shall mean any illness, affliction or disease including pregnancy of employees who are eligible for maternity benefits in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1966, but excluding—
(a) venereal disease and illness, affliction or disease which is attributable to misconduct or excessive indulgence in intoxicating liquors or drugs; and
(b) any accident, illness or disease in respect of which compensation is payable in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases, 1993.



(a) Payment of benefits shall be subject to the production of a certificate of absence from work to which shall be attached a medical certificate signed by one of the Funds medical officers.
(b) The Management Committee has the right to require the claimant for benefits to submit himself to such of the fund's medical officers as it may direct.
(c) Every employer shall complete a certificate of absence from work for each employee who has been off from work through illness and who has produced a medical certificate from a hospital, or a medical officer of the Fund. The employer shall forward such absence from work certificate together with the medical certificate to the Secretary of the Council, P.O. Box 18354, Dalbridge, 4014.


(9) An employee who has contributed to the Fund for 13 weeks shall, subject to the provisions of subclause (7) and (8) hereof, be entitled to the following benefits during the currency of this part of the Agreement: Provided that the amount standing to the credit of the fund is not less than R200:
(a) Free medical attention (excluding surgical treatment and maternity cases, save where these are approved in whole or in part by the Management Committee, and venereal diseases) by the medical officer(s) appointed by the Management Committee.
(b) Free medicine when prescribed by the Fund's medical officer(s): Provided that such are made up by a chemist(s) specified by the Management Committee, or the Sick Benefit Fund Clinic.
(c) In any one calendar year, sick pay equal to half a day's wage prescribed in clause 4 for each day of absence from work through illness to a maximum of forty (40) days' absence. Provided that a member shall not be entitled to any sick pay whatsoever in respect of a period of absence of two days or less unless they constitute the first two days of a period of not less than three continuous days' absence, in which case such members shall receive for a period of absence which is limited to three days, one day sick pay. No claim for sick pay shall be recognised if lodged after the expiry of six calendar months, calculated from the date of fitness for work indicated on the medical certificate. In cases of permanent unfitness, the period of six months shall be calculated from the last day in respect of which sick pay is due.
(d) Contributors become unemployed shall remain eligible for membership of the fund, and, while unemployed, shall be entitled to the benefits prescribed in paragraph (a) and (b) for the following periods:




Those with one year but not exceeding two years' service


Those with more than two years but not exceeding five years' service


Those with more than five years but not exceeding ten years' service


Those with more than ten years' service in each cycle of one year



(e) Should a contributor's period of unemployment exceed that specified in paragraph (d) he shall be required to be employed in the Clothing Industry and contribute to the Fund for a further period of 13 weeks after restarting in the Industry before again becoming eligible for benefits.


(10) A member who was employed within the Clothing Industry, Natal, for at least 20 years and whose employment was terminated due to ill health or old age shall be entitled to receive medical service upon payment of a R5,00 user charge due to the fund, until the member reaches the age of 65 years.


(11) In the event of the expiry of this part of the Agreement by effluxion of time or cession or any other cause, the Fund shall continue to the administered by the Management Committee until it be either liquidated or transferred by the Council to any other Fund constituted for the same purpose as that for which the original Fund was created: Provided that the fund shall be liquidated unless an agreement providing for the continuation of the Fund or for the transfer of its moneys as aforesaid, is entered into within 12 months of the date of expiry of this part of the Agreement.


(12) In the event of the dissolution of the Council or in the event of its ceasing to function during any period in which this part of the Agreement is binding, the Management Committee shall continue to administer the Fund and the members of the Committee existing at the date on which the Council ceases to function or is dissolved shall be deemed to be members thereof for such purposes: Provided, however, that any vacancy occurring on the Committee may be filled by the Registrar of Labour Relations from employers or employees in the Industry, as the case may be, so as to ensure an equality of employer and employee representatives and of alternatives in the membership of the Committee. In the event of such Committee being unable or unwilling to discharge its duties or a deadlock arising thereon which renders the administration of the Fund impracticable or undesirable in the opinion of the Registrar, he may appoint a trustee or trustees to carry out the duties of the Committee and who shall posses all the powers of the Committee for such purpose. In the event of no Council being in existence the Fund shall upon the expiry of this part of the Agreement be liquidated by the Committee or the trustee, as the case may be, in the manner set forth in subclause (11) of this clause, and if upon such expiry the affairs of the Council have already been wound up and its assets distributed, the balance of the Fund as if it formed part of the general funds of the Council.


(13) Upon liquidation of the Fund in terms of subclause (11) the moneys remaining to the credit of the Fund after the payment of all claims against the Fund, including administration and liquidation expenses, shall be paid into the general funds of the Council.


(14) The Management Committee shall have the right to exclude from all the provisions of this clause any employee who, in its opinion, has abused the privileges of the Fund: Provided that an employee may appeal against such exclusion to the Council whose decision shall be final.