LRA’S Dispute Resolution Processes

One of the most important functions of a bargaining council is the resolution of disputes between an employer and an employee. But what happens if the employer and the employee also agree, in the contract of employment, that any dispute that arises between them will be referred to private arbitration? Would this mean that the bargaining council would no longer have jurisdiction to arbitrate a dispute such as an unfair dismissal dispute? In one case, a bargaining council arbitrator concluded that such a contractual provision effectively excluded the bargaining council’s jurisdiction. Not so, said the Labour Court: that clause would be invalid because the employer and the employee cannot opt out of the collective agreement.

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