Tripartite Relationship

5881 words 24 pages
G.M. Ferreira Department of Public Administration and Management UNISA



his article contains an overview of the complex network of labour relations dynamics and organizational flow in the new legislative landscape of labour relations. It sketches the hierarchy and protocol of the different protagonists in the labour market and explains the number of principles and influences amidst the myriad of legislative and ad hoc regulatory precepts. It also touches on the impact the general rights of workers and their representative bodies have on the economic forces and health. The article stipulates the sensitive, yet core role that the government has to play in attempting to reach an
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Section 23 of the 1996 Constitution refers to these rights, and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act 66 of 1995) gives effect to them. Prior to 1993, public workers were excluded from the Labour Relations Act. Separate labour legislation governing public employees coexisted with laws governing employees in the private sector. Legislation such as the Public Service Labour Relations Act, 1994 (Act 105 of 1994) and the Education Labour Relations Act, 1993 (Act 46 of 1993) reduced the disparities between employees in the public and private sectors. The Government of National Unity that was established in terms of the 1993 Interim Constitution in South Africa had a constitutional obligation to treat all workers equally. The labour relationship was rectified by the Labour Relations Act, 1995. The primary labour relationship between employer and employee focuses more on the divergent interests between the parties due to differing expectations in terms of the roles played. The parties to the secondary labour relationship will be briefly indicated.

The state as a party to the employment relationship
The state comprises the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The executive part of the state is responsible for the formulation of the policy regarding the labour relationship as well as the execution of that policy through public institutions. The legislature puts the legislative framework in place, which governs the labour relationship. The labour


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