Collective Agreements

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A collective agreement relates to terms and conditions of employment of workers and may be concluded between one or more trade unions on one hand and representatives of one or more employers or employers’ organizations on the other hand. The parties to the negotiation are expected to make available to the other party information relevant to the subject matter of negotiation, and the information shall be treated as confidential by the party receiving the information. The information shall not be disclosed to a third party without prior written consent from the party providing the information. 

What should an employer include in his or her collective agreement?

Collective agreements may include provisions on the following matters:

  • The class or category of workers to which it relates
  • The conditions of work, including the hours of work, rest period, meal breaks, annual leave, occupational health and safety measures
  • The remuneration and the method of calculating the remuneration of the workers
  • The period of probation and conditions of probation
  • The period of notice of termination of employment, transfer and discipline
  • The procedures for the avoidance and settlement of disputes arising out of the interpretation, application and administration of the agreement
  • The principle of matching remuneration with productivity 
  • The essential services within the establishment

Do I, as an employer, need to sign the concluded collective agreement?

Yes. A concluded agreement between the parties shall be in writing and signed by a duly authorised member of the committee representing each party and two copies of the agreement shall be deposited with the Labour Commission and the Chief Labour Officer.

Can an employer of the class of workers covered by a collective bargaining certificate nominate persons or representatives to conduct negotiations on his or her behalf?

Yes. The employer can authorise representatives to conduct negotiations on their behalf. The representative shall constitute standing negotiating committee to negotiate on matters referred to it.

What happens if an employer fails to enter negotiations with an employee after he or she has been served with notice?

If an employer does not within fourteen days after the serving of notice take any steps to enter into negotiations, the commission shall direct the employer to enter into negotiations immediately.

If a certificate of a trade union in my establishment is withdrawn can it affect the collective agreement made?

No. The withdrawal of a certificate appointing a trade union will not affect the validity of a collective agreement made by the trade union before the certificate was withdrawn. But any collective agreement which is made by another trade union after withdrawal of the certificate shall have effect notwithstanding anything in the previous agreement.

As an employer, what should be the duration of my collective agreement?

Collective agreement concluded shall be for a term of at least one year. A party to a collective agreement cannot give notice requiring the other party to negotiate with respect to any matter governed by a collective agreement unless at the time when the notice is served, that agreement is due or to expire within twenty-eight days after service of the notice.

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