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 Bargaining 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: –