The Government has recognised that the people who best understand an industry are those already involved in that industry. Therefore, government has said employers and workers in that industry should establish a structure to collectively write the rules governing that industry. These structures are Known as Councils.

A Bargaining Council is established for a sector and area in terms of section 27 of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 by registered employer organisations and registered trade unions that have members in the sector and area of the council and by adopting a constitution that meets the requirements of section 30 of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995.

The council consist of unions and employer organisations whose purpose is to collectively agree to terms and conditions of employment. Councils implement these terms and conditions, as agreed, and also deal with disputes and non – compliance to the agreement. Therefore, it is important that terms and conditions of employment are collectively agreed on by the parties to the council (trade unions and employer organisations).

The powers and functions of the Bargaining Council in relations to its registered scope include the following: -

  1. to conclude collective agreements;
  2. to enforce those collective agreements;
  3. to prevent and resolve labour disputes;
  4. to perform the dispute resolution functions referred to in section 51;
  5. to establish and administer a fund to be used for resolving disputes;
  6. to promote and establish training and education schemes;
  7. to establish and administer pension, provident, medical aid, sick pay, holiday, unemployment and training schemes or funds or any similar schemes or funds for the benefit of one or more of the parties to the bargaining council or their members;
  8. to develop proposals for submission to NEDLAC or any other appropriate forum on policy and legislation that may affect the sector and area;
  9. to determine by collective agreement the matters which may not be an issue in dispute for the purposes of a strike or lock – out at the workplace;
  10. to confer on workplace forums additional matters for consultation;
  11. to provide industrial support services within the sector and scope; and
  12. to extend the services and functions of the bargaining council to workers in the informal sector and home workers;


Certificate of Registration of Bargaining Council