The Extension of Bargaining Council Agreements: What Guidelines Can South Africa Gain from the International Labour Organisation?

Authors Mynie Kriek & Stefan van Eck

ISSN: 2413-9874
Affiliations: This article is based on research conducted by Ms Mynie Kriek for purposes of her research master’s degree in labour law at the University of Pretoria (UP) under the guidance of Professor Stefan van Eck.; Professor of Labour Law, University of Pretoria
Source: Industrial Law Journal, Volume 41 Issue 1, 2020, p. 71 – 87


The extension of bargaining council agreements to non-members and minority parties is not a new phenomenon in South African labour law. Section 32 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA) provides that the Minister of Labour1 has an obligation to extend collective agreements if the majority parties to a bargaining council so request. This provision has been amended on two occasions and it has also been contested in Free Market Foundation v The Minister of Labour & others (2016) 37 ILJ 1638 (GP). This contribution examines the question whether, measured by international standards, there is an inherent defect in s 32 of the LRA. It is recommended that the LRA should be amended to comply with all the guidelines of the International Labour Organisation.