Industrial relations refer to the relationship between employees and employers. It is often known as employment relations and is divided in three; ethical, problem solving and science building. A breach in industrial relations can result in an industrial dispute whereby one party takes industrial action.
Industrial relations examines the relationship between labor (employees) and management (the employer), as well as the governments, institutions, and organizations that directly or indirectly regulate the industrial relations system.
Sound industrial relations systems manages relationships between management and employees (and their representatives) on the one hand, and between them and the State on the other, in more harmonious and cooperative manner, minimizing conflict and creates an environment conducive to economic efficiency and the motivation, productivity and development of the employee and generates employee loyalty and mutual trust.
Industrial relations are managed in South Africa within the scope of Labour contracts in compliance with rules and regulations noted in the LRA, BCEA, Council agreements and other relevant laws.
Unions and Employer Organisations play a vital role in collective bargaining which in turn results in the drafting of council agreements.
Council agreements, in turn, needs to conform to minimum requirements set in the BCEA and are agreed upon after successful collective bargaining sessions.
Employer and employee rights are therefore stipulated in the LRA, BCEA, Council agreements and also Sectoral Determinations.