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Understand How the Labour Relations Act Affects You in the Workplace

Nov 8, 2016 | Blog, Industry news

Judge’s hammer next to law books

The end of the year is fast approaching and many students are preparing to enter the workplace at the start of 2017.However, before starting any job, young adults should first understand the importance of the labour relations act and how it affects them.

Starting a new job, especially if it is your first, can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. And, while it is vital that you read your employment contract carefully and know what is expected of you in your new position, it is equally imperative that you understand the purpose of labour relations act and know your basic employment rights as well.Labour relations act summaryAccording to the official South African government online site (, the labour relations act applies to workers, employers and trade unions. The purpose of the labour relations act is not only to protect everyone in the workplace but to also promote economic development, fair labour practices, peace, democracy and social development. Know your basic employment rightsYou don’t have to be a law student or a practicing lawyer to understand the terms listed in the labour act. By downloading a copy of the labour relations act PDF, you can increase your knowledge and be aware of your rights. Some of the information included in the labour relations act includes basic employment rights (with the focus on issues such as minimum wage, hours, overtime, working on public holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, family responsibility leave and remuneration), discrimination (which includes issues such as sexual harassment), unfair labour practices and discipline and dismissal for misconduct. Aside from familiarising yourself with the labour regulation act, it is also important that you know who to contact should you need to lodge a complaint over a labour dispute or unfair discrimination. Should you have an unpleasant experience at work and are unable to get assistance internally, you can contact the Department of Labour for help.If you are unaware of your rights and are wanting to learn more about the labour relations act in South Africa, you can visit Sabinet for more information.Image credit: pixabay