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Home Archive Miscellaneous Making sense of labour relations jargon
Monday, 22 January 2018
Making sense of labour relations jargon

As we head into what will, in all likelihood, be yet another challenging labour relations year, what with a raft of new labour laws and expected heightened industrial action, it is worth re-familiarising oneself with certain of the jargon and terms which are so often used in the labour relations environment.

The CCMA and Bargaining Councils, on occasion, schedule so-calledIn limine hearingswhich are described as a hearing on a specific legal point, which takes place before the actual case referred, can be heard. It is a process that addresses the technical legal points, which are raised prior to getting into the merits of the case, and relates to matters of jurisdiction (Source: CCMA web site). A common example of a CCMAIn liminehearing would relate to an application by an applicant for the CCMA to condone the late referral of adispute. TheIn liminehearing would first be heard so that a Ruling can be made on whether, or not, the late referral is to be condoned prior to the hearing proper proceeding.

Sufficient representationis the term used in the LRA to describe the amount of union representation, which is equal to or in excess of 30% of the legible union members, but less than majority membership. Trade unions which acquiresufficient representation, qualify for controlled access onto the employers premises, and the employer is obligated to deduct union membership fees on behalf of the union.Sufficient representationdoes not entitle a union to the appointment of statutory shop stewards, and neither does it typically entitle a union to collective bargaining rights (both of which do become a feature of majority representation).

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First published in The Star Workplace on 22 April 2015