CHAPTER 48:01
TRADE UNIONS AND EMPLOYERS' ORGANIZATIONS

 

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

 

   SECTION

 

 

 

PART I
Preliminary

 

   1.   Short title

 

   2.   Interpretation

 

 

 

PART II
Administration

 

   3.   Registrar of Trade Unions and Employers' Organizations

 

   4.   Register of trade unions, federations of trade unions and employers' organizations

 

 

 

PART III
Registration of Trade Unions, Federations of Trade Unions
and Employers' Organizations

 

   5.   Registration under Act

 

   6.   Application for registration

 

   7.   Notice of application for registration to be published

 

   8.   Penalty for failure to apply for registration

 

   9.   Issue of certificate of registration

 

   10.   Refusal of registration

 

   11.   Notification of refusal of registration

 

   12.   Cancellation of registration

 

   13.   Appeals

 

   14.   Consequences of cancellation of registration

 

   15.   Unregistered trade unions, etc. prohibited from carrying on business

 

   16.   Rights of trade union pending registration

 

 

 

PART IV
Rights and Liabilities of Trade Unions, Federations of
Trade Unions and Employers' Organizations

 

   17.   Benefits of registration for trade union

 

   18.   Liability in contract

 

   19.   Proceedings by or against

 

 

 

PART V
Membership, Officers, Employees and Trustees

 

   20.   Membership of trade union or employers' organization by children and young persons

 

   21.   Restrictions on membership of trade union

 

   22.   ...

 

   23.   Notice of officers of registered trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization to be exhibited

 

   24.   Trustees of registered trade union or federation of trade unions

 

   25.   Property of registered trade union or federation of trade unions to vest in trustees

 

   26.   Effect of change of officers

 

 

 

PART VI
Meetings

 

   27.   Annual general meeting of registered trade union

 

   28.   Extraordinary general meetings of registered trade union

 

   29.   Records of meetings

 

   30.   Custody of records of minutes

 

 

 

PART VII
Registered Office and Postal Address

 

   31.   Registered office and postal address

 

 

 

PART VIII
Constitution and Notification of Certain Matters

 

   32.   Constitution of registered trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization

 

   33.   Effect of change of name

 

   34.   Delivery of copies of constitution to members or potential members

 

   35.   Certain matters to be notified to Registrar

 

   36.   Notification to Registrar of dissolution

 

 

 

PART IX
Finance

 

   37.   Application of funds

 

   38.   Prohibition of payment of certain fines and other penalties

 

   39.   Interdict to restrain unauthorized or unlawful expenditure of funds, etc.

 

   40.   Books of account

 

   41.   Circulation, furnishing and auditing of accounts

 

   42.   Annual return

 

   43.   Inspection of accounts and list of members

 

   44.   Interdict against officers

 

 

 

PART X
Amalgamations and Federations of Registered Trade Unions

 

   45.   Amalgamation or federation of registered trade unions

 

   46.   Registration of amalgamation of registered trade unions

 

   47.   Amalgamation not to prejudice rights

 

 

 

PART XI
Recognition of Registered Trade Unions as Negotiating Bodies

 

   48.   Recognition at the workplace

 

   48A.   Recognition at level of industry

 

   48B.   Organisational rights of recognised trade unions

 

   48C.   Disclosure of information to a recognised trade union

 

 

 

PART XII
Investigations

 

   49.   Enquiries by Minister, etc.

 

   50.   Appointment of investigator

 

   51.   ...

 

   52.   Application of Part of federations of trade unions

 

 

 

PART XIII
Picketing, Intimidation, Disputes, etc.

 

   53.   Peaceful picketing and prevention of intimidation

 

   54.   Intimidation and annoyance

 

   55.   Conspiracy in trade disputes

 

   56.   Freedom of association of employees

 

 

 

PART XIV
Offences and Penalties

 

   57.   Penalty for misuse of money or other property

 

   58.   Penalty for false entries in documents

 

   59.   Limitation of prosecutions

 

 

 

PART XV
Miscellaneous

 

   60.   ...

 

   61.   Inspection of records in custody of Registrar

 

   62.   ...

 

   63.   Receipt of funds

 

   64.   Service of legal process

 

   65.   Certain facts to be notified in Gazette

 

   66.   Power of Minister to require certain information

 

   67.   Power of Minister to make regulations

 

   68.   Inapplicability of certain laws

 

   69.   Matters not affected by Act

 

 

 

      Schedule

 

 

Act 23, 1983,
S.I. 123, 1984,
Act 24, 1992,
Act 16, 2004,
Act 14, 2005.

An Act to re-enact with amendments the law relating to trade unions to make better provision therefor and for federations of trade unions and employers' organizations and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 1st September, 1984]

PART I
Preliminary (ss 1-2)

 

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Trade Unions and Employers' Organizations Act.

 

2.   Interpretation

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

   "branch" includes a sub-branch;

   "Commissioner of Labour" means the person for the time being holding, acting in or lawfully performing the functions of the public office of Commissioner of Labour;

   "constitution" includes rules;

   "contract of employment" means an agreement, whether oral or in writing, expressed or implied, whereby one person agrees for a wage or other benefit or both to let his labour to and perform it under the orders of another person who agrees to hire it, including a contract of apprenticeship and an indenture to learn;

   "employee" means any individual who has entered into a contract of employment for the hire of his labour:

   Provided that the expression does not include members of the-

 

   (i)   Botswana Defence Force,

 

   (ii)   Botswana Police Service,

 

   (iii)   Local Police, and

 

   (iv)   Prison Service;

   "employer" means any person who has entered into a contract of employment to hire the labour of any person and includes-

 

   (a)   the Government in respect of all its officers except members of the-

 

      (i)   Botswana Defence Force,

 

      (ii)   Botswana Police Service,

 

      (iii)   Local Police, and

 

      (iv)   Prison Service;

 

   (b)   a public authority; and

 

   (c)   the person who owns or is carrying on, for the time being or is responsible for the management of the undertaking, business or enterprise of whatever kind in which the employee is engaged;

   "employers' organization" means an association consisting, wholly or mainly, of employers the principal objects of which include the regulation of relations between employers and employees or trade unions;

   "executive committee", in relation to a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization or any branch thereof, means the subordinate body thereof, by whatever name known, that has the management of the affairs of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization or branch thereof as a whole between meetings of the body in which the ultimate authority of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization or branch thereof is vested; and, where there are more than one such subordinate body, the expression includes all those subordinate bodies;

   "federation of trade unions" means a federation, congress or other association, by whatever name known, of autonomous registered trade unions;

   "financial year" means the period of 12 months ending on 31st December in every year;

   "injury" means any actionable wrong or any injury to a person in respect of his business, occupation, employment or other source of income;

   "intimidate" means to cause in the mind of a person reasonable apprehension of injury to him or to any member of his family or to any of his dependants or of violence or damage to any person or property;

   "officer", in relation to a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, includes any member of its executive committee or the executive committee of a branch thereof but does not include a trustee or an auditor;

   "public authority" includes a local authority and a land board;

   "registered employers' organization" means an employers' organization for the time being registered as such under this Act;

   "registered federation of trade unions" means a federation of trade unions for the time being registered as such under this Act;

   "registered office", in relation to a registered trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, means the office of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization for the time being registered as its principal office under this Act;

   "registered postal address", in relation to a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, means the postal address of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization for the time being registered as its postal address under this Act;

   "registered trade union" means a trade union for the time being registered as such under this Act or an amalgamation of registered trade unions deemed, by virtue of section 46(6), to be registered as a trade union in accordance with this Act;

   "Registrar" means the person appointed to be the Registrar of Trade Unions and Employers' Organizations in accordance with section 3;

   "trade dispute" means any dispute or difference between an employer or employers and employees or between employees and employees in any trade or industry that is connected with the employment of those employees in that trade or industry or with the terms and conditions of or affecting that employment;

   "trade union" means an organization the principal objects of which include the regulation of relations between employees and employers or employers' organizations or between employees and employees;

   "unlawful industrial action" means any industrial action declared under the Trade Disputes Act or by the Minister under that Act to be unlawful or any lock-out, strike or action short of a strike deemed, by virtue of that Act, to be unlawful industrial action; and the words and expressions used in this definition have the meanings assigned to them respectively by that Act.

   (2) ...

PART II
Administration (ss 3-4)

 

3.   Registrar of Trade Unions and Employers' Organizations

   (1) The Minister shall appoint a public officer, to be the Registrar of Trade Unions and Employers' Organizations.

   (2) The Registrar shall, subject to any directions given by the Minister, be charged with the general administration of this Act.

   (3) The Minister may designate such other public officers as he thinks necessary to assist the Registrar in the administration of this Act.

   (4) No suit shall lie against the Registrar for anything done or omitted to be done by him in good faith, without negligence and in the intended exercise or performance of any function conferred or imposed by this Act.

 

4.   Register of trade unions, federations of trade unions and employers' organizations

   (1) The Registrar shall keep and maintain in such manner as the Minister may direct a register of trade unions, federations of trade unions and employers' organizations, in which shall be recorded such particulars as the Minister may direct, and such other books and documents as the Minister may direct.

   (2) A copy of an entry in or excerpt from the register or from any other book or document kept and maintained by the Registrar in accordance with this section, purporting to be certified under the hand of the Registrar to be a true copy, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

PART III
Registration of Trade Unions, Federations of Trade Unions
and Employers' Organizations
(ss 5-16)

 

5.   Registration under Act

   Subject to the other provisions of this Act, every trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization formed in Botswana shall be registered in accordance with this Act.

 

6.   Application for registration

   (1) Every trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization formed in Botswana shall, within 28 days immediately after its formation, apply to the Registrar for registration as a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, as the case may be, under this Act.

   (2) Every application for registration under this Act by a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization shall be made in the prescribed form which shall be accompanied by-

 

   (a)   the prescribed fee;

 

   (b)   three printed or typed copies of the constitution of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, each copy authenticated under the hand of the principal secretary of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization;

 

   (c)   in the case of an application by-

 

      (i)   a trade union or employers' organization, one copy of the resolution by which it was formed authenticated under the hand of the principal secretary of the trade union or employers' organization; or

 

      (ii)   a federation of trade unions, one copy of each of the resolutions by which the members of the federation were authorized to enter into the federation authenticated under the hand of the principal secretary of the trade union in question;

 

   (d)   a list of the full names of all the members of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization; and

 

   (e)   a written statement setting out, in respect of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization-

 

      (i)   its name and postal address and the location of its principal office;

 

      (ii)   the date of its formation; and

 

      (iii)   the titles, full names, ages, postal and residential addresses and occupations of those of its officers who are signatories to the application.

   (3) In the case of an application for registration under this Act by a trade union, the written statement referred to in subsection (2)(e) shall also set out the name of every employer or industry that the union claims will be bound to deal with it in terms of section 48 and particulars of every negotiating body, whether of the parent trade union or a branch thereof, to be concerned with the conclusion of collective labour agreements.

 

7.   Notice of application for registration to be published

   (1) The Registrar shall cause a notice of every application for registration made in accordance with section 6 to be published in the Gazette and in such other manner as the Minister may direct.

   (2) Every notice such as is referred to in subsection (1) shall set out the particulars that have been provided by virtue of section 6(2)(e) and shall call upon any person who objects to the registration of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization to notify the Registrar of the objection, together with the grounds thereof, within such reasonable time as shall be specified in the notice.

 

8.   Penalty for failure to apply for registration

   Where a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization fails to apply for registration in accordance with section 6, every officer of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization and every person acting or purporting to act as such an officer shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding P100.

 

9.   Issue of certificate of registration

   (1) Subject to section 10, the Registrar shall, after considering every objection to the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization notified to him within the time specified in accordance with section 7 and after making such inquiries in the matter as he thinks fit, register the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization in such manner as the Minister may direct and issue to it a certificate of registration in such form as the Minister may approve.

   (2) A certificate of registration issued under this Act shall, for all purposes, unless the registration of the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization to which the certificate relates is proved to have been cancelled in terms of section 12, be conclusive evidence that that trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization is duly registered in accordance with this Act.

   (3) When and as often as the Registrar issues a certificate of registration under this Act, he shall forthwith inform the Commissioner of Labour that he has done so.

 

10.   Refusal of registration

   (1) The Registrar shall refuse to register a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization under this Act if it appears to him that its name is identical with that by which some other trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization has been registered or so nearly resembles that other name as to be likely to deceive or mislead any person or is otherwise misleading or undesirable, until such time as the name is altered to one acceptable to the Registrar.

   (2) The Registrar shall refuse to register a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization under this Act if he is satisfied that-

 

   (a)   it has not complied with the provisions of this Act or with any regulations made thereunder or with any requirement made of it by the Registrar in respect of its registration under this Act;

 

   (b)   ...

 

   (c)   any of its principal objects or any other provision of its constitution is unlawful;

 

   (d)   it is used or has been used for an unlawful purpose;

 

   (e)   its funds or other property are being or have been applied in an unlawful manner or for an unlawful object or an object not authorized by this Act or its constitution;

 

   (f)   its accounts are not being kept in accordance with this Act; or

 

   (g)   its principal objects are not in accordance with those of a trade union or employers' organization, as the case may be, as the same is defined by section 2.

 

   (3) ...

 

   (4) ...

 

11.   Notification of refusal of registration

   (1) Where the Registrar refuses in accordance with section 10 to register a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization, he shall notify the applicants in writing of the refusal and the grounds thereof and the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization shall be deemed to be dissolved from the date of the notification:

   Provided that, where an appeal is lodged against the refusal, the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization shall be deemed to be dissolved from the date on which the appeal is dismissed or abandoned.

   (2) Any person who takes part in the management or organization of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization deemed to be dissolved by virtue of this section or acts or purports to act on its behalf or as its officer shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding P60 and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding P20 for every day the offence continues:

   Provided that it shall not be an offence under this section for a person to take part in the management or organization of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization deemed to be dissolved by virtue of this section or to act on its behalf or as its officer for the purposes of-

 

   (i)   any proceedings brought by or against the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization; or

 

   (ii)   dissolving the trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization and disposing of its assets in accordance with its constitution.

 

12.   Cancellation of registration

   (1) The Registrar shall cancel the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act-

 

   (a)   at its own request upon its dissolution being verified in such manner as the Registrar may require; or

 

   (b)   if he is directed by the Minister under section 50 to do so.

   (2) The Registrar shall cancel the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act if he is satisfied that-

 

   (a)   it has ceased to exist;

 

   (b)   its registration was obtained by fraud, misrepresentation or mistake;

 

   (c)   it has wilfully contravened this Act or any regulations made thereunder;

 

   (d)   it has wilfully, and after notice from the Registrar, allowed any provision of its constitution to continue in force which is inconsistent with this Act or any regulations made thereunder;

 

   (e)   ...

 

   (f)   any of its principal objects or any other provision of its constitution is unlawful;

 

   (g)   it is used or has been used for an unlawful purpose;

 

   (h)   its funds or other property are being or have been applied in an unlawful manner or for an unlawful object or an object not authorized by this Act or its constitution; or

 

   (i)   ...

   (3) ...

   (4) The Registrar may cancel the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act if he is satisfied that its accounts are not being kept in accordance with this Act.

   (5) ...

   (6) The Registrar shall not proceed under subsection (4) to cancel the registration of a trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization registered under this Act or proceed under subsection (5) to cancel the registration of a trade union registered under this Act unless he has first caused to be served on it notice in writing that he proposes to do so and such notice shall specify the ground on which he proposes to do so.

   (7) A registered trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization served with a notice under subsection (6) may, within two months immediately following the day on which service of the notice was effected, show cause in writing lodged with the Registrar against the proposal to cancel its registration and, if such cause is shown, the Registrar may hold such inquiry as he considers necessary in the particular circumstances.

   (8) Where a registered trade union, federation of trade unions or employers' organization fails to show cause under subsection (7), the Registrar may, after the expiry of the period of two months prescribed by that su

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