CHAPTER 269
INDUSTRIAL AND LABOUR RELATIONS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Application and power of exemption

   3.   Interpretation

PART II
TRADE UNIONS

   4.   When employee ceases to be eligible employee

   5.   Rights of employees in respect of trade union membership and its activities

   6.   Obligations of employees in respect of trade union and its activities

   7.   Registration and consequences of non-registration

   8.   Acts of unregistered trade unions and their officers

   9.   Application for registration of trade union

   10.   Continuation of trade unions Act

   11.   Constitution of trade union

   12.   Cancellation of certificate of registration of trade union

   13.   Appeal from decisions Commissioner

   14.   Change of name or address of trade union

   15.   Amalgamation of trade unions

   16.   Voluntary dissolution of trade union

   17.   Existing trade unions and Congress

   18.   Disqualification from election or appointment as officer of trade union

   19.   Information about elections of trade union, etc.

   20.   Injunction against officer of trade union

   21.   Annual report of accounts of trade union

   22.   Deduction of subscription by agreement

   23.   Remittance of subscription

   24.   Acquisition of land by trade union

   25.   Property of trade union to vest in trustees

   26.   Actions by or against trustees of trade union

   27.   Limitation of liability of trustees of trade union

PART III
FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS

   28.   Continuation of Congress as federation of trade unions

   29.   Constitution of federation of trade unions

   30.   Qualification and disqualification from election or appointment as officer of a federation of trade unions

   31.   Information about elections of a federation of trade union, etc

   32.   Injunction against officer or a federation of trade unions

   33.   Annual report of accounts of a federation of a trade unions

   34.   Relations between a federation of trade unions

   35.   Dispute between trade unions

PART IV
EMPLOYERS' ORGANISATIONS

   36.   Registration and consequences of non-registration of employers' associations

   37.   Rights of employers

   38.   Employers' associations

   39.   Acts or unregistered employers’ organisation and its officers

   40.   Application for registration of association

   41.   Continuation of employers’ organisation

   42.   Constitution of employers’ organisation

   43.   Disqualification from election or appointment as officer of employers’ organisation

   44.   Information about elections of employers’ organisation

   45.   Court process against officer of employers’ organisation

   46.   Cancellation of certificate of registration

   47.   Appeal from decisions of Commissioner

   48.   Change of name or address of employers’ organisation

   49.   Amalgamation of employers’ organisations

   50.   Voluntary dissolution of employers’ organisation

   51.   Affiliation of employers’ organization before commencement of Act

   52.   Annual report of accounts of employers’ organisation

   53.   Acquisition of land by employers’ organization and vesting of property

   54.   Actions by or against trustees of employers’ organization and limitation of their liability

PART V
FEDERATION OF EMPLOYERS ORGANISATIONS

   55.   Continuation of Federation

   56.   Continuation of Federation of employers’ organisation

   57.   Relations between the Federation of employers’ organisation and employers’ association

   58.   Disqualification from election or appointment as officer of Federation of employers’ organisation

   59.   Notification of results of election of Federation of employers’ organisation

   60.   Annual report of accounts of a Federation of employers’ organisation

PART VI
FUNDS OF REPRESENTATIVE BODIES

   61.   Objectives for which funds shall not be expended

   62.   Control of funds

PART VII
RECOGNITION AGREEMENTS

   63.   Registration of employers

   64.   Duty to enter into recognition agreement

   65.   Essentials of recognition agreement

   65A.   Termination of recognition agreement

PART VIII
COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS

   66.   Establishment of Joint Council

   67.   Constitution of Joint Council

   68.   Collective agreements

   69.   Obligations of bargaining unit

   70.   Lodging of collective agreements

   71.   Approval of collective agreements

   72.   Variation of collective agreement

   73.   Extension of collective agreement in force

   74.   Collective agreements by joint councils

PART IX
SETTLEMENT OF COLLECTIVE DISPUTES

   75.   Collective disputes

   76.   Dispute to be referred to conciliator, board of conciliation or to Court

   77.   Approval of settlement by conciliation

   78.   Failure to reach settlement by conciliation

PART X
TRIPARTITE CONSULTATIVE LABOUR COUNCIL

   79.   Consultative Labour Council

   80.   Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council

   81.   Proceedings of Consultative Council

   82.   Committees of Council

   83.   Functions of Council

PART XI
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT

   84.   Continuation of Court

   85.   Jurisdiction of Court

   85A.   Remedies by Court

   86.   Composition of Court

   87.   Registrar and other officers of Court

   88.   Assessors

   89.   Proceedings of Court

   90.   Declaration of Court

   91.   Representation of parties

   92.   Powers to summon witnesses

   93.   Power to obtain evidence

   94.   Judgment of Court

   95.   Publication of judgments of Court

   96.   Rules of Court

   97.   Appeals to Supreme Court

PART XII
GENERAL

   98.   Immunity of officials of trade union, Congress, associations and Federation

   99.   Conspiracy in collective disputes

   100.   Breach of contract involving injury to persons or property

   101.   Prohibition from participating in lockouts or strikes

   102.   Attendance at or near place of residence, business or employment for certain purposes

   103.   Attendance at or near a place of residence

   104.   Obstructing Commissioner, etc.

   105.   Prosecution of offences

   106.   General penalty

   107.   Essential Service certificates

   108.   Restriction on discrimination in employment

   109.   Conduct of ballots

   110.   Complaints against irregularities in elections

   111.   Report to National Assembly

   112.   Regulations by Minister

   113.   Repeal and Savings

      SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to revise the law relating to the formation of trade unions and employers' representative organisations, including the formation of federations of trade unions and federations of employers organisations, recognition and collective agreements, settlement of disputes, strikes, lockouts, essential services and the Tripartite Labour Consultative Council; the Industrial Relations Court; to repeal and replace the Industrial Relations Act, 1990; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[30th April, 1993]

Act 27 of 1993,

Act 13 of 1994,

Act 30 of 1997,

Act 8 of 2008.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Industrial and Labour Relations Act.

2.   Application and power of exemption

   (1) Subject to sub-section (2), this Act shall not apply to—

      (a)   the Zambia Defence Force;

      (b)   the Zambia Police Force;

      (c)   the Zambia Prison Service;

      (d)   the Zambia Security Intelligence Service; and

      (e)   Judges, registrars of the court, magistrates and local court justices.

   (2) The Minister may, after consultation with the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council, by statutory instrument, and subject to such conditions as he may prescribe, exempt any person or class of persons or any trade, industry or undertaking from all or any of the provisions of this Act, or any regulation or order made, or any direction given, in pursuance of this Act.

   (3) The Companies Act, the Societies Act and the Co-operatives Societies Act shall not apply to any trade union or association.

   (4) Any organisation which is intended to carry out activities of a trade union or an employers' association shall be registered only under this Act and any registration under the Companies Act, the Societies Act and the Co-operative Societies Act shall be void.

3.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

[“association” rep by s 3(a) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“bargaining unit” means—

      (a)   the management of the undertaking and the most representative trade union representing employees in the undertaking where collective bargaining is at the level of an undertaking, other than an industry; or

      (b)   the negotiating team representing the employers' organisation and the negotiating team representing the most representative trade union in the industry concerned where collective bargaining is at the level of an undertaking or industry;

[Subs by s 2(a) of Act 8 of 2008.]

“Chairman” means the person appointed Chairman of the Court under section86;

“collective agreement” means an agreement negotiated by an appropriate bargaining unit in which the terms and conditions affecting the employment and remuneration of employees are laid down;

“collective bargaining” means the carrying on of negotiations by an appropriate bargaining unit for the purpose of concluding a collective agreement;

“collective dispute” shall be construed in accordance with section 75;

“Commissioner” means the Labour Commissioner;

“Congress” means the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions continued under section 28; “Court” means the Industrial Relations Court established under section84;

[Subs by s 3(c) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“deadlock” means a situation arising out of a collective dispute where the parties to the dispute have exhausted the procedure, whether formal or otherwise, mutually agreed to by the parties for the settlement of the dispute, where conciliation in terms of section 78; has proved unsuccessful, and where either or both parties are of the opinion that further negotiations are unlikely to lead to the settlement of the dispute;

“Deputy Chairman” means the person appointed Deputy Chairman of the Court under section 86;

"dispute" means a disagreement on any matter pertaining to employment relationship by the parties to a recognition or collective agreement;

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 8 of 2008.]

“eligible employee” means a union is able employee other than a member of the management of an undertaking;

[Am by s 3(d) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“employee” means any person who has entered into, or works under, a contract of employment with an employer whether such contract is express or implied, oral or written, or serving a probationary period of employment, a casual employee, an employee specifically engaged on a temporary basis for work of an intermittent or seasonal nature;

“employer” means any person who, or body of persons, firm, company, corporation or public authority which, has entered into a contract to employ any person and includes any agent, representative or manager of such person, body of persons, firm, corporation, company or public authority who is placed in authority over the persons employed;

“employers' organisations”

      (a)   means any group of employers registered under this Act whose principal objectives are the representation and promotion of employers' interest and the regulation of relations between employers and employees or between employers and trade unions; and

      (b)   includes a federation of employers’ organisation;

[Ins by s 3(e) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“essential service” shall be construed in accordance with section 107;

Executive Board” means the duly elected executive committee of a representative body;

[Ins by s 3(e) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“executive officer” means a person elected or appointed by a representative body to be responsible for the day to day administration, management and organisation of that representative body;

[Subs by s 3(f) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“Federation” means the Zambia Federation of Employers continued under section 55;

[Subs by s 3(g) of Act 30 of 1997.]

federations of employers' organisations” means any organisation whose membership consists wholly mainly of-

      (a)   registered employers organisations which are affiliated to the organisation; or

      (b)   individual employers who are not members of any employers' organisation and whose principal objectives include the regulation of relations between employers affiliated to the federation of employers' organisations and trade unions and federations of trade unions;

[Ins by s 3(e) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“federation of trade unions” means an organisation whose membership consists of registered trade unions affiliated to such federation and whose principal objectives are the promotion and regulation of relations between the trade unions affiliated to the federation or between employees, their trade unions, employers and employers' organisations;

[Ins by s 3(e) of Act 30 of 1997.]

[“joint council” rep by s 3(h) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“lock-out” means the closing down of a place of employment or the suspension of work, or the refusal by an employer to continue to employ any number of persons employed by him, as a result of a dispute, and done with a view of compelling those persons, or to aid another employer in compelling those persons or to aid him, to accept terms or conditions of employment or terms of conditions affecting employment;

"management" in relation to an employee, means a person—

      (a)   who is the head of an institution or undertaking and has authority to hire, suspend, promote or demote an employee of the institution or undertaking;

      (b)   who is the head of a department in an institution or undertaking and has authority in the financial, operational, human resource, security or policy matters of the institution or undertaking;

      (c)   with decision-making authority in the financial, operational, personnel or policy matters of an institution or undertaking and who represents and negotiates on behalf of the institution or undertaking in collective bargaining or negotiations with any trade union; or

      (d)   with written institutional authority to perform the functions referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) or (c);

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 8 of 2008.]

“member” means a member of the union;

"most representative" in relation to an organisation, means—

      (a)   a national centre with the most number of affiliates; or

      (b)   at sector, trade, undertaking, establishment or industry level, a body with the majority of members:

Provided that where in the sector, trade, undertaking, establishment or industry, there are employees who offer specialised services requiring specific representation, the most representative body shall be considered to be between the competing representation;

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 8 of 2008.]

"national centre" means an organisation to which any group of trade unions is affiliated and whose principal objective is to represent and promote the interests of the trade unions;

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 8 of 2008.]

“officer of a trade union” means a duly elected or appointed office holder of a trade union including a trustee, but does not include its employees;

[“officer of an association” rep by s 3(i) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“officer of an employers' organisation” means a duly elected or appointed office holder of an employers' organisation, who shall not be an employee of that organisation;

[Ins by s 3(i) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“proper officer” means a labour officer as defined in section 3 of the Employment Act;

“recognition agreement” means an agreement described in Part VII;

“Registrar” means the person appointed Registrar of the Court under section 87;

representative body” means a trade union, a federation of trade unions, an employers' organisation and a federation of employers organisations or any other representative body registered under this Act;

[Subs by s 3(j) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“strike” means

      (a)   the cessation of work or withdrawal of labour by a body of persons employed in any in combination; or

      (b)   a concerted refusal or a refusal under a common understanding, of any number of employees, to continue to work or provide their labour.

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 8 of 2008.]

“trade union”

      (a)   means any group or organisation of employees registered as a trade union under this Act whose principal objectives are the representation and promotion of interests of the employees and regulation of relations between employees and employers; and

      (b)   includes a federation of trade unions;

[Subs by s 3(k) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“trustee” in relation to a representative body means a person elected or appointed to the post of trustee;

[Ins by s 3(e) of Act 30 of 1997.]

“undertaking” means any company, firm, trade, business, industry or any other kind of enterprise, any statutory board or corporation or any local or public authority or any branch or autonomous division thereof.

PART II
TRADE UNIONS

4.   When employee ceases to be eligible employee

   (1) An employee shall cease to be an eligible employee if the employee becomes a member of management.

   (2) Where there is a disagreement as to whether or not an employee is a member of management, either party to the disagreement may refer the matter to the Commissioner for determination.

   (3) Any party aggrieved by the decision of the Commissioner, may, within fourteen days of such decision, appeal to the Court.

[S 4 subs by s 3 of Act 8 of 2008.]

5.   Rights of employees in respect of trade union membership and its activities

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other written law and subject only to the provisions of Constitution and this Act every employee shall have the following rights:

      (a)   the right to take part in the formation of a trade union;

      (b)   the right to be a member of a trade union within the sector, trade, undertaking establishment or industry in which that employee is engaged;

[S 5(b) am by s 4 of Act 8 of 2008.]

      (c)   the right, at any appropriate time, to take part in the activities of a trade union including any activities as, or with a view to becoming, an officer of the trade union, seeking election or accepting appointment, and if so elected or appointed, to hold office as such officer subject only to the constitution of the trade union concerned;

      (d)   the right to obtain leave of absence from work in the exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph (c) and the leave applied for shall not be unreasonably withheld by the employer;

      (e)   the right not to be prevented, dismissed, penalized, victimised or discriminated against or deterred from exercising the rights conferred on the employee under this Act;

      (f)   the right of any employee not to be a member of a trade union or to be required to relinquish membership;

      (g)   the right not to be dismissed, victimised or prejudiced for exercising or for the anticipated exercise of any right recognised by this Act or any other law relating to employment; or for participating in any proceedings relating thereto;

      (h)   the right not to do work normally done by an employee who is lawfully on strike or who is locked out, unless such work constitutes an essential service, or if on request the employee voluntarily waives the right specified under this Act;

      (l)   the right not to be dismissed, penalized or disciplined on the grounds that the employee-

      (i)   has been or is a complainant or witness or has given evidence in any proceedings, whether instituted against the employer before the Court or any other court; or

      (ii)   is entitled to a reward, benefit or compensation against any employers, organisation or class of employers to which the employer of that employee belongs or against any other person, in consequence of a decision made by a court in favour of that employee or in favour of a trade union or class of employees to which the employee belongs.

   (2) Any employee who has reasonable cause to believe that the employee's services have, or employment has, been terminated or that the employee has suffered any penalty, disadvantage or victimisation for exercising or in connection with the exercise of any rights specified under this section may-

      (a)   within thirty days after exhausting administrative channels available to that employee in the employing undertaking; or

      (b)   where administrative channels are not available, within thirty days of that termination of services or employment, or of knowing that the employee has suffered any penalty, disadvantage or victimisation; may lay a complaint before the Court.

   (3) The Court shall, if it finds in favour of the complainant-

      (a)   grant to the complainant damages or compensation for loss of employment;

      (b)   make an order for re-employment or re-instatement; or

      (c)   make such other order as it may consider appropriate in the circumstances.

   (4) No employer or employer's organisation or any person acting on behalf of the employer or employers' organisation shall render financial or other assistance in any form to any trade union or any officer or member thereof with the subject of exercising any control over, or influence in, the activities of such trade union.

   (5) Any person or employer or employers' organisation who, or which, contravenes the provisions of sub-section (4) shall be guilty of an offence, and shall be liable upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding two thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight penalty units and may be prohibited from holding office in an employer's organisation for such period as the Court may determine.

[S 5 subs by s 4 of Act 30 of 1997.]

6.   Obligations of employees in respect of trade union and its activities

Every employee shall promote, maintain and co-operate with the management of the undertaking in which the employee is employed in the interest of industrial peace, greater efficiency and productivity.

7.   Registration and consequences of non-registration

   (1) Every trade union shall within six months from the date of formation, and subject to section9, apply to the Commissioner for registration under this Act.

[S 7(1) subs by s 5(a) of Act 30 of 1997.]

   (2) If the Commissioner refuses to register a trade union, the Commissioner shall notify the trade union of such refusal and the trade union shall be dissolved within six months from the date of the notification.

   (3) Every trade union which is not registered or dissolved, as the case may be, within the period prescribed in sub-section (1) or (2), and every officer of such trade union, shall be guilty of an offence and liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding four penalty units for every day that it remains unregistered or undissolved, as the case may be, after the expiration of such period, and every such officer may in addition be prohibited from holding office in any other trade union for a period of one year.

[S 7(3) am by Act 13 of 1994, s 5 of Act 8 of 2008.]

8.   Acts of unregistered trade unions and their officers

   (1) No trade union or officer shall perform any act in furtherance of the objects for which it has been formed unless such trade union is registered under this Act.

   (2) Any trade union which, or officer who, contravenes sub-section (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred penalty units, and every such officer may in addition be prohibited from holding office in any other trade union for a period determined by the Court.

[S 8 am by Act 13 of 1994.]

9.   Application for registration of trade union

   (1) An application to register a group of employees as a trade union shall be submitted to the Commissioner in such form as may be prescribed by the Minister.

   (2) An application to register a group of employees as a trade union shall be signed by not less than fifty supporters or such lesser number as may be prescribed by the Minister and shall be accompanied by-

      (a)   two duly certified copies of the constitution of the proposed trade union;

      (b)   such other information or document as may be required by the Commissioner by notice in writing addressed and delivered to the executive officer of the trade union within such period as may be determined by the Commissioner and specified in such notice.

   (3) On being satisfied that an application for registration as a trade union has complied with the conditions of registration prescribed under this Act and that the constitution of the proposed trade union provides for matters set out in the Schedule to this Act, the Commissioner shall within a period of six months from the date of the application for registration, register the group of employees as trade union and issue the trade union with certificate of registration in the prescribed form, upon payment of the prescribed fee.

[S 9(3) am by s 6(a) of Act 8 of 2008.]

   (4) A certificate of registration issued under sub-section (3) unless proved to have been withdrawn or cancelled, shall be prima facie evidence that provisions of this Act relating to registration have been complied with.

   (5) A group of employees shall not be registered as trade union under this section-

      (a)   under a name identical to, or by which, any other trade union has been registered or so nearly resembles such name as to be likely to deceive its own members or members of the public;

[S 9(5)(a) am by s 6(b)(i) of Act 8 of 2008.]

      (b)   if it does not comply with the conditions of registration prescribed, in consultation with the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council, under this Act; or

[S 9(5)(b) am by s 6(b)(ii) of Act 8 of 2008.]

      (c)   if—

      (i)   the registration will be prejudicial to national security; or

      (ii)   the objects of the trade union are contrary to the purposes for which the trade union was formed.

[S 9(5)(c) ins by s 6(b)(i) of Act 8 of 2008.]

   (6) The Commissioner shall, where the Commissioner rejects an application under sub-section (5), inform the applicant of the reasons therefore.

[S 9 subs by s 6 of Act 30 of 1997; s 9(6) ins by s 6(c) of Act 8 of 2008.]

10.   Continuation of trade unions Act

Every trade union established by, and registered in accordance with, section 6 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990, is hereby continued as if established and registered under this Act.

11.   Constitution of trade unions

   (1) The Constitution of a trade union in force immediately before the commencement of this Act shall continue in force in so far as it is not written law or until it is amended or replaced under this Act.

   (2) The Constitution of every trade union registered under this Act and every amended thereof shall be registered with the Commissioner and shall be accompanied by a duly certified copy of the resolution adopting the constitution or amendment thereof signed by the executive board.

   (3) The Constitution of every trade union registered under this Act—

      (a)   shall not be amended to the extent that the amendment becomes inconsistent with the freedom of association enshrined in Constitution or with any other written law; and

      (b)   shall include provisions set out in the Schedule to this Act.

[S 11 subs by s 7 of Act 30 of 1997.]

12.   Cancellation of certificate of registration of trade union

   (1) The Commissioner shall, after obtaining the approval of the Minister, cancel the certificate of registration of a trade union-

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