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Basic Guide to Employers’ Organisations

Basic Guide to Employers’ Organisations

All employers have a right to form, join and be active in employers’ organisations. All employers’ organisations have a right to function, to be affiliated to other bodies and to be funded by them.


The Labour Relations Act applies to all employers, workers, trade unions and employers’ organisations, but does not apply to –
members of the:

  • National Defence Force;
  • National Intelligence Agency; or
  • South African Secret Service

See (Ref)

Applies to all workers and employers and aims to advance economic development, social justice, labour peace and the democracy of the workplace.


Employers’ organisations are necessary for effective collective bargaining – an important way of regulating industrial relations and of determining employees’ wages and benefits.


Employers’ organisations do not have to register with the Department of Labour, but they are advised to do so.If employers’ organisations wish to be registered, their constitutions have to meet certain requirements, such as:

  • there must be provision in the constitution for a ballot of members before a strike or lockout is called; and
  • there must not be any provision in the constitution that discriminates on the grounds of race or sex.

The registrar of labour relations has the power not to register (or to withdraw the registration of) an employers’ organisation if the registrar is satisfied that the applicant it is not a genuine employers’ organisation.

Employer’s Rights

All employers have a right to –

  • form an employers’ organisation;
  • join an employers’ organisation;
  • take part in lawful employers’ organisation activities; and
  • be protected from anyone who discriminates against them because of their membership or activities.

Based on Legislation in Section 6Section 7of the Labour Relations Act

Organisation’s Rights

All employers’ organisations have a right to –

  • perform lawful activities;
  • form or affiliate with national and/or international trade union or employers’ federations; and
  • fund or be funded by such international federations.

Based on Legislation in Section 8of the Labour Relations Act


Any party may refer, in writing, any disputes about the rights of employers or employers’ organisations to –

  • a bargaining or statutory council;
  • the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA); or
  • the Labour Court.

Based on Legislation in Section 8of the Labour Relations Act

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Originally appeared on on 30-05-2008. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of estome. estome accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the article, nor does the information contained herein constitute advice, legal or otherwise.

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