A CA must contain the following information and terms:
- Name of the employer and name of the union
- Date on which the CA was made
- Title of the CA
- Categories of employees who are covered by the CA
- Duration of the CA, which should be a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 3 years
- Provision for the settlement of disputes between the parties while the CA is in force, arising out of the operation of the CA. This should include referral of any disputes to a Referee appointed under the IR Act. The CA should state how the Referee is to be selected e.g. by the parties, or by IAC.
- Signature of the employer and union representatives at the end of the body of the CA and the signature of at least one representative each from the employer and the union on every page. The signing of the document should be done in the presence of witnesses, at least one nominated by each party. The witnesses should also sign the document. For format, see sample CAs on IAC website.
The employer and the union are at liberty to include in the CA other information and any terms and conditions of employment as agreed between them. As a guide, a CA will usually incorporate general terms of employment such as working hours, rates for working overtime and on rest days; terms relating to termination of employment including resignation, retirement and retrenchment; salary and bonuses; annual leave, sick leave and maternity leave; and medical benefits and insurance.
In drafting the CA, the employer and the union must ensure the following:
- Compliance with the Industrial Relations Act and other labour legislation ie:
- Employment Act
- Child Development Co-Savings Act
- Retirement and Re-Employment Act
- Work Injury Compensation Act, etc
Generally, the CA provisions must at least meet, and may (where the parties agree) exceed the requirements in the labour laws. The parties are to take particular note of the requirements in the IR Act on the duration of the CA and provision for settlement of disputes, as highlighted in the first paragraph above.
- Compliance with legal requirements:
- Names of employer and union, date on which CA was made, title of CA and categories of employees covered by the CA must be stated clearly.
- At least one representative each from the employer and the union sign on the last page of the body of the CA against their respective names and designations.
- At least one signatory each from the employer and the union should also sign on every page of the CA, including the Appendices.
- The CA should be signed in the presence of witnesses, at least one nominated by each party, who should also sign the CA.
- Completeness and compliance with IAC's administrative requirements:
- The CA should be complete, with no missing pages, and no gaps or repetitions in the numbering of clauses, sub-clauses, appendices, etc.
- Title of CA carries the year in which the CA is signed eg XXX Employees' Agreement of 2014, for an agreement made in 2014.
- Approved Softcopy of Collective Agreement (ASCA) of the existing CA is used as the basis for preparing the next CA.
- Hardcopy of the CA must be printed single-sided for signing by the employer and union representatives.
Note that the IAC does not vet CAs other than to ensure that the above requirements are met. The parties are advised to exercise due care and diligence to ensure that the provisions in the CA capture clearly, comprehensively and correctly the employment terms that have been agreed between them to minimise the possibility of disputes arising in the future.