Enforcement of Collective Agreements

The enforcement of collective agreements by this bargaining council, like any other, is governed by Section 33A of the Labour Relations Act.

One of the functions of this council is to enforce its collective agreements. For this purpose, a legal and compliance department was established, which is currently staffed by a Legal and Compliance Manager and Compliance Inspector.

Section 33 of the Labour Relations Act provides for the appointment of designated agents in a bargaining council to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with any collective agreements in that council. Accordingly, the Legal and Compliance Manager and Compliance Inspector, as well as certain other staff of the council, have been appointed designated agents by the Department of Labour to carry out the functions mentioned.

The legal and compliance department or designated agents may issue ‘compliance orders’ requiring any person bound by a collective agreement to comply with the collective agreement within a specified period. The council may refer any unresolved dispute concerning compliance with any provision of a collective agreement to arbitration by an arbitrator appointed by the council or, if the dispute concerns a non-party, to the CCMA. Arbitrators have the powers like those of the CCMA commissioners, and may order payment of any amount owing in terms of a collective agreement; impose fines for the failure to comply with a collective agreement; charge an arbitration fee or order a party to pay the costs of the arbitration; confirm, vary or set aside a compliance order issued by a designated agent; or make any other appropriate award. Such awards have the status of an order of the labour court.