Industrial Relations Code

Link to law: http://tuvalu-legislation.tv/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/1974/1974-0033/IndustrialRelationsCode_1.pdf
Published: 1975-01-01

Industrial Relations Code


2008 Revised Edition

CAP. 40.32






INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CODE

Industrial Relations Code CAP. 40.32 Arrangement of Sections





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INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CODE

Arrangement of Sections
Section

PART I - PRELIMINARY 5
1 Short title................................................................................................................ 5
2 Interpretation.......................................................................................................... 5

PART II - PROCEDURE FOR SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES 7
3 Reporting of trade disputes .................................................................................... 7
4 Powers of Minister on report of trade dispute........................................................ 7
5 Further action by the Minister................................................................................ 8

PART III - CONCILIATION, ARBITRATION, SETTLEMENT AND
INQUIRY IN TRADE DISPUTES 9
6 Conciliation............................................................................................................ 9
7 Arbitration tribunals............................................................................................... 9
8 Procedure of tribunals .......................................................................................... 10
9 Awards to be final and binding............................................................................ 10
10 Tribunal's award not to conflict with any law...................................................... 10
11 Publication of award ............................................................................................ 11
12 Interpretation of awards ....................................................................................... 11
13 Boards of inquiry ................................................................................................. 11
14 Incomes Commission........................................................................................... 12
15 Consultation of Incomes Commission ................................................................. 12
16 Appointments to be final...................................................................................... 12
17 Regulation of proceedings ................................................................................... 12
18 Duties in relation to trade disputes....................................................................... 13
19 Evidence............................................................................................................... 13
20 Representation of parties...................................................................................... 14
21 Sittings may be in public or private ..................................................................... 14

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PART IV - ADHERENCE TO AGREEMENTS AND AWARDS 15
22 Strike, lockout or boycott unlawful where procedures are not exhausted............15
23 Strike, lock-out or boycott where award or agreement still in force ....................15
24 Effective date of orders ........................................................................................16
25 Offences where strike, lock-out or boycott unlawful ...........................................16
26 Legal presumptions ..............................................................................................16
27 Prohibition of expulsion of members ...................................................................17

PART V - PROTECTION OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES, LIFE AND
PROPERTY 17
28 Interpretation ........................................................................................................17
29 Breach and procurement of breach of contract by employee an offence .............17
30 Breach of employee's contract not unlawful in certain circumstances.................18
31 Printed copy of sections 29, 30 and Schedule to be displayed by employer........19
32 Protection of life and property .............................................................................19
33 Minister may amend Schedule .............................................................................20

PART VI - STRIKE BALLOTS 20
34 Strike ballots.........................................................................................................20

PART VII - MISCELLANEOUS 21
35 Certain immunities not affected ...........................................................................21
36 Conclusion of collective agreements not affected................................................21
37 Liability of persons appointed under Code ..........................................................21
38 Remuneration and expenses .................................................................................21
39 Regulations...........................................................................................................21
40 Consent of Attorney-General required for prosecutions ......................................22


SCHEDULE 23

Supporting Documents

ENDNOTES 24

Industrial Relations Code CAP. 40.32 Section 1





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INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CODE

AN ACT TO MAKE PROVISION FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF TRADE
DISPUTES AND THE REGULATION OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, TO

CONSOLIDATE AND AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO ESSENTIAL
SERVICES, AND FOR MATTERS INCIDENTAL THERETO AND

CONNECTED THEREWITH1

Commencement [1st January 1975]

PART I - PRELIMINARY

1 Short title
This Act (hereinafter referred to as this Code) may be cited as the Industrial
Relations Code.

2 Interpretation
In this Code unless the context otherwise requires —

“board” means a board of inquiry appointed under section 13;

“boycott” means the combining of persons in systematically refusing to hold
or abstaining from holding relations or dealings of any kind whatsoever with
any person on account of differences with such other person so as to punish
him for the position he has assumed or to coerce him into abandoning that
position;

“Commission” means the Incomes Commission established under section 14;

“employee” means any person who has entered into or works under a contract
of service with an employer whether express or implied, whether entered into

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orally or in writing and whether it is a contract of service, apprenticeship or
learner-ship or a contract personally to execute any work or labour;

“employer” means any person who has entered into a contract of service to
employ any person and includes the Government;

“essential service” means any service, by whomsoever rendered and whether
rendered to the Government or any other person, specified in the Schedule;

“lock-out” means the closing of a place of employment or the suspension of
work or the refusal of an employer to continue to employ any number of
persons employed by him done not with the intention of finally determining
employment but with a view to compelling or influencing those persons, or to
aid another employer in compelling or influencing persons employed by him,
to do or to refrain from doing anything;

“organisation” means a trade union or other association representative of
employees or employers, as the case may be;

“strike” means the cessation of work by a body of employees acting in
combination, or a concerted refusal or a refusal under a common
understanding of any number of employees to continue to work for an
employer or to undertake particular work, done as means of compelling or
influencing their employer or any employee or body of employees, or to aid
other employees in compelling or influencing their employer or any employee
or body of employees, to do or to refrain from doing anything and includes
any interruption or slowing down of work by any number of employees acting
in concert or under a common understanding (including any action commonly
known as a “sit down strike” or a “go slow”);

“trade dispute” means any dispute or difference whether existing or
apprehended between employers and employees or between employees and
employees connected with the employment or non-employment or with the
terms or conditions of or affecting the employment or with the conditions of
labour of any person and includes disputes regarding the dismissal or
suspension of employees, allocation of work or recognition of agreements:

Provided that it shall not include any dispute or difference implicating —
(a) members of the armed forces of the Crown;
(b) members of the Tuvaluan Police;
(c) prison officers;
(d) members of any disciplined body or organisation analogous to those

specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) designated by notice by the Minister;

“trade union” means a trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act;2

“tribunal” means an arbitration tribunal appointed under section 7;

“unlawful” means, with reference to a strike, lock-out or boycott, declared
unlawful by this Code or by the Minister thereunder.

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PART II - PROCEDURE FOR SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES

3 Reporting of trade disputes
(1) Any trade dispute may be reported to the Minister by or on behalf of any party

to the dispute.

(2) A report of a trade dispute under this section shall be in writing addressed to
the Minister and shall set out in full the matters in issue between the parties to
the dispute and the steps which have been taken by the parties to obtain a
settlement through any machinery for the settlement of trade disputes which
may exist otherwise than by virtue of this Code.

(3) Where the Minister is of the opinion that a report of a trade dispute does not
contain sufficient particulars of the matters required to be set out by
subsection (2) he may require further written particulars to be given him and
in that case the report shall not be deemed to have been made in accordance
with this section until the Minister is satisfied that the particulars so required
have been given.

(4) Every person reporting a trade dispute or giving further written particulars to
the Minister under this section shall forthwith give by hand or send by
registered post a true copy of the report thereof or of the written particulars to
each of the other parties to the dispute.

(5) The Minister may by notice appoint persons to receive reports of trade
disputes and further written particulars under this section on his behalf and
every such person on receipt of such a report or such particulars shall
forthwith transmit the contents thereof to the Minister by such means as he
thinks most expeditious.

4 Powers of Minister on report of trade dispute
(1) The Minister shall consider every trade dispute of which a report has been

made to him in accordance with section 3 and may take any one or more of
the following steps as seem to him most expedient for promoting a settlement
of the dispute —
(a) where he is of the opinion that any appropriate machinery for the

settlement of trade disputes which may exist otherwise than by virtue of
this Code has not been made use or sufficient use of by the parties to
the dispute, refer the dispute back to the parties for negotiation or
further negotiation and settlement through that machinery;

(b) in any event refer the dispute back to the parties and if he thinks fit
make proposals to the parties or to any of them upon which a settlement
of the dispute may be negotiated by them;

(c) endeavour to conciliate the parties under section 6;

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(d) refer the dispute to an arbitration tribunal under section 7;
(e) refer the dispute to a board of inquiry under section 13;
(f) refer the dispute to the Incomes Commission under section 14.

(2) A decision of the Minister under subsection (1) shall be recorded in writing
and shall as soon as practicable be communicated in writing by hand or by
registered post to the parties to the dispute or to their representatives.

(3) Where a trade or other dispute has been reported to the Minister in
compliance or purported compliance with section 3 and the Minister is of the
opinion that the matters or some of the matters in issue do not constitute or
form part of a trade dispute that opinion shall be recorded in writing and
communicated in accordance with subsection (2).

5 Further action by the Minister
(1) Where the Minister has taken a step under section 4(1) and is informed in

writing by any party to the dispute or, where a step has been taken under
section 4(1) (c), by the conciliator or chairman of the conciliation panel that
settlement of the dispute has not thereby been effected he may within 7 days
of being so informed inform the parties or their representatives that he intends
to take a further step under section 4(1).

(2) Where the Minister does not inform the parties or their representatives in
accordance with subsection (1) that he intends to take a further step under
section 4(1) or where having done so he does not take that step the procedures
prescribed by this Code for the settlement of trade disputes shall be deemed to
be exhausted.

(3) The Minister may by notice appoint persons who may be informed under this
section on his behalf that settlements of disputes have not been effected and
every such person on being so informed shall forthwith transmit that
information to the Minister by such means as he thinks most expeditious.

(4) Notwithstanding that a trade dispute has not been reported to him under
section 3, the Minister may refer a trade dispute to a tribunal or the
Commission under section 7 or 14 as if it had been so reported and whether or
not the parties to the dispute thereto consent where he is satisfied that the
dispute has jeopardised or may jeopardise the essentials of life or the
livelihood of the inhabitants of Tuvalu or a significant section thereof or may
endanger the public safety or the life of the community.

Industrial Relations Code CAP. 40.32 Section 6





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PART III - CONCILIATION, ARBITRATION, SETTLEMENT
AND INQUIRY IN TRADE DISPUTES

6 Conciliation
(1) For promoting a settlement of a trade dispute reported to him in accordance

with section 3 the Minister may endeavour to conciliate the parties to the
dispute by taking any one or more of the following steps —
(a) appoint a person, who may be a public officer or any other person the

Minister considers suitable, to act as a conciliator;
(b) appoint a conciliation panel consisting of an independent chairman,

who may be a public officer or any other person the Minister considers
suitable, one or more persons representative of employers and an equal
number of persons representative of employees;

(c) with the consent of the parties appoint in accordance with their wishes a
conciliation panel consisting of a chairman and other members;

(d) by order determine or suspend the operation of any of the aforesaid
conciliation measures.

(2) A person appointed under this section to act as a sole conciliator or as
chairman of a conciliation panel shall inquire into the causes and
circumstances of the trade dispute by communication with the parties thereto
and shall endeavour to bring about a settlement of the dispute and shall report
the outcome to the Minister.

(3) The terms of every settlement of a trade dispute effected under this section
shall be set out in writing, shall be signed by or on behalf of the parties to the
dispute and, where appropriate, by the conciliator or the chairman of the
conciliation panel and a true copy of the text signed as aforesaid, shall be
lodged with the Commissioner of Labour.

7 Arbitration tribunals
For promoting a settlement of a trade dispute reported to him in accordance with
section 3 the Minister may refer the dispute to an arbitration tribunal appointed by
him which shall consist of —

(a) a sole arbitrator;
(b) an arbitrator assisted by one or more assessors nominated by or on

behalf of the employers concerned and an equal number of assessors
nominated by or on behalf of the employees concerned or where there
is a trade union by the trade union; or

(c) one or more arbitrators selected by the Minister from a panel nominated
by or on behalf of the employers concerned and an equal number of

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arbitrators selected by the Minister from a panel nominated by or on
behalf of the employees concerned or where there is a trade union by
the trade union and an independent chairman.

8 Procedure of tribunals
(1) Where a tribunal is constituted in accordance with section 7(b) any award of

the tribunal shall be made and issued by the arbitrator alone and where a
tribunal is constituted in accordance with section 7(c) any award shall be
made by all the members if they are in agreement and otherwise by the
chairman alone.

(2) Where a tribunal is constituted in accordance with section 7(b) or (c) and a
vacancy occurs in the membership thereof the tribunal may with the consent
of the parties to the dispute act notwithstanding the vacancy or the Minister
may appoint another person to fill the vacancy in accordance with section 7.

(3) No act proceeding or determination of a tribunal shall be called in question or
invalidated by reason of a vacancy in its membership.

9 Awards to be final and binding
(1) Every award of a tribunal in relation to a trade dispute shall be final and shall

not be liable to be challenged, reviewed, questioned or called in question in
any court save on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.

(2) Any award of a tribunal in relation to a trade dispute may be made so as to
have retrospective effect.

(3) Every award of a tribunal in relation to a trade dispute shall be binding on the
employers and employees to whom the same relates and, as from the date of
publication of such award or, where the award is made retrospective, from the
date specified therein, it shall be an implied term of the contract between the
employers and employees to whom the award relates that the rate of wages to
be paid and the conditions of employment to be observed under the contract
shall be in accordance with such award until varied by a subsequent award or
by agreement.

10 Tribunal's award not to conflict with any law
Where any trade dispute referred to a tribunal involves questions as to wages, hours
of work or otherwise as to the terms or conditions of or affecting employment which
are regulated by or under any written law other than this Code the tribunal shall not
make any award inconsistent with that written law or which is less favourable to
employees than any material award or order made in pursuance thereof.

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11 Publication of award
An award of a tribunal shall be transmitted in writing to all parties concerned in the
arbitration proceedings, to the Commissioner of Labour and to the Minister who
shall as soon as practicable cause the award to be published in such manner as he
thinks fit.

12 Interpretation of awards
If any question arises as to the interpretation of any award of a tribunal the Minister
or any party to the original dispute may apply to the tribunal for a decision on the
question and the tribunal shall decide the matter after hearing the parties or without
such hearing if the consent of the parties thereto has first been obtained and the
determination of the tribunal shall be notified to the parties, to the Commissioner of
Labour and to the Minister and shall be deemed to form part of and shall have the
same effect in all respects as the original award.

13 Boards of inquiry
(1) The Minister may at any time order an inquiry into the causes and

circumstances of a trade dispute by a board of inquiry and, without prejudice
to the generality of the foregoing, may for promoting a settlement of a trade
dispute reported to him is accordance with section 3 refer the dispute to such a
board.

(2) A board of inquiry shall consist of a chairman and such number of other
members as the Minister may determine or if he thinks fit of one person alone
all of whom shall be appointed by the Minister:

Provided that where the Minister appoints members representing the interests
of employers he shall appoint an equal number of members representing the
interests of employees and vice versa.

(3) A report of a board and any minority report shall be submitted in writing to
the Minister.

(4) The Minister may cause to be published in such manner as he may think fit
any information obtained or conclusions arrived at by a board as a result or in
the course of an inquiry:

Provided that there shall not be included in any report or publication made or
authorised by a board or the Minister any information obtained by the board
in the course of the inquiry as to any individual business, organisation or other
concern whatsoever which is not available otherwise than through evidence
given at the inquiry except with the consent of the secretary of the
organisation or of the person or other body in question nor shall any person
concerned in the inquiry disclose any such information without such consent.

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(5) Any person who prints or publishes any information or who discloses any
information in contravention of subsection (4) shall be liable to a fine of $500
and to imprisonment for 6 months.

14 Incomes Commission
The Minister may by order establish an Incomes Commission to whom he may refer
for consideration all matters relating to levels of minimum wages, incomes, other
remuneration, benefits or wage differentials or any other matter connected with any
trade, industry, undertaking, public service or statutory body or any combination
thereof which in the opinion of the Minister it is desirable for the Commission to
consider including any trade dispute reported to him in accordance with section 3 in
order to promote a settlement thereof.

15 Consultation of Incomes Commission
(1) The members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Minister and shall

comprise —
(a) an independent chairman; and
(b) equal numbers of persons representing the interests of employers and

employees respectively.

(2) The Minister may at any time revoke the appointment of any member of the
Commission so long as the numbers of members representing the interests of
employers and employees respectively remain equal.

(3) Where the Minister is of the opinion that the membership specified in
subsection (1)(b) is inappropriate for the consideration of a particular matter
he shall appoint thereunder alternate members whom he considers suitable to
consider the matter and their membership shall lapse so soon as their
deliberation of the matter is concluded.

16 Appointments to be final
(1) Every appointment made by the Minister to a board or tribunal shall be final

and shall not be questioned by any party to the trade dispute in question.

(2) Every appointment arising from a trade dispute made to the Commission by
the Minister after consultation with the parties concerned shall be final and
shall not be questioned by any party to the dispute.

17 Regulation of proceedings
Save as is expressly provided for in this Code or in any regulations made thereunder
a tribunal, board or the Commission shall have all the powers of commissioners

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acting under the Commissions of Inquiry Act and may regulate the procedure in any
proceedings under this Code as he or it shall think fit.

18 Duties in relation to trade disputes
All parties to a trade dispute and every person appointed under this Part shall where
appropriate take into account in considering any proposed settlement, award or
recommendation in respect of the dispute —

(a) the public interest;
(b) the need to maintain existing levels of employment and the desirability

of raising those levels
(c) the desirability of increasing productivity;
(d) the desirability of establishing and maintaining reasonable reward

differentials for different skills;
(e) the financial implications of the proposed settlement, award or

recommendation if implemented —
(i) on the particular industry concerned;
(ii) on similar or related industries or skills; and
(iii) on the economy of Tuvalu;

(f) the price levels of essential commodities.

19 Evidence
(1) For the purpose of dealing with any matter referred to it Evidence tender this

Code a tribunal, board or .the Commission may elicit all such information as
in the circumstances it may consider necessary without being bound by the
rules of evidence in civil or criminal proceedings and may by order require
any person —
(a) to furnish, in writing or otherwise, such particulars in relation to any

matter as may be required;
(b) to appear before it and give evidence on oath or otherwise; and
(c) to produce any material documents as may be required.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), if any person objects to furnishing any
particulars, answering any question or producing any document on the ground
of confidentiality or that it will tend to incriminate him or on any other lawful
ground he shall, subject to subsection (3), not be required to furnish such
particulars, answer such question or produce such document nor shall he be
liable to any penalties for refusing to do so.

(3) Where objection is taken to the production of a document on the ground that
the contents thereof are confidential the tribunal, board or the Commission
may nevertheless by order require production of the document and

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consideration of its contents in camera and shall take all such further steps as
may seem necessary and practicable to preserve the confidential nature of the
document.

(4) A conciliator or conciliation panel appointed under section 6 may for the
purpose of dealing with a trade dispute referred to it under this Code by order
require any party to the dispute to appear before it.

(5) Any person who without reasonable excuse fails to obey any order made
under this section shall be liable to a fine of $50 and to imprisonment for 3
months and in any proceedings for an offence under this section the proof of
reasonable excuse shall lie on the person charged with the offence.

(6) Any person who being required by an order under subsection (1)(a) or (b) to
furnish particulars or to give evidence not on oath wilfully furnishes
information or makes a statement which he knows to be false or does not
believe to be true shall be liable to a fine of $50 and to imprisonment for 3
months.

20 Representation of parties
(1) In any proceedings under this Code before a tribunal, board or the

Commissions a party to those proceedings may —
(a) appear in person; or
(b) be represented by an advocate or as provided by subsection (2).

(2) A party to proceedings under this Act may with leave of the board tribunal or
the Commission —
(a) being an organisation, be represented by a member, officer or employee

of the organisation; or
(b) not being an organisation, be represented by —

(i) an employee of that party; or
(ii) a member, officer or employee of any organisation of which that

party is a member.

21 Sittings may be in public or private
(1) A tribunal, board or the Commission may by order exclude the public and

representatives of the news media from any proceedings under this Code and
members of the public and such representatives shall forthwith comply with
such an order.

(2) A fair and accurate report or summary of proceedings before a tribunal, board
or the Commission under this Code at which the public has been present may
be published by any person.

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(3) No comment in respect of proceedings before a tribunal, board or the
Commission under this Code shall be published until the Minister has caused
the award or the result of the inquiry, as the case may be, to be published.

(4) Any person who contravenes this section shall be liable to a fine of $100 and
to imprisonment for 6 months.

PART IV - ADHERENCE TO AGREEMENTS AND AWARDS

22 Strike, lockout or boycott unlawful where procedures are not
exhausted
(1) Subject to subsection (2), a strike, lock-out or boycott which takes place in

furtherance of a trade dispute before the procedures prescribed by this Code
for the settlement of trade disputes are exhausted shall be unlawful.

(2) A strike, lock-out or boycott shall not be unlawful by virtue of this
section if —
(a) 28 days have elapsed since the date on which the report of the trade

dispute in furtherance of which the strike, lock-out or boycott has taken
place was made to the Minister in accordance with section 3; and

(b) the Minister has taken no step under section 4(1) or if he has taken such
a step his decision has not been communicated to the parties to the
dispute or to their representatives in accordance with section 4(2).

23 Strike, lock-out or boycott where award or agreement still in force
Where it appears to the Minister that there is an actual, declared or anticipated strike,
lock-out or boycott arising out of a trade dispute in any undertaking and the Minister
is satisfied —

(a) that the matters to which the trade dispute relates have been settled by
an agreement or award; and

(b) that the agreement or award is expressed to have effect until a date
which has not been reached,

the Minister may if he thinks fit take any one or more of the following steps —
(i) invite the parties to the dispute to show cause as to why they

should not comply with that agreement or award until the date on
which it will cease to have effect;

(ii) invite the parties to the dispute to comply with that agreement or
award;

(iii) by order declare any strike, lock-out or boycott (whether actual,
declared or anticipated) arising out of that dispute to be unlawful

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until a date specified in the order which date shall be no later
than any date referred to in paragraph (b).

24 Effective date of orders
(1) Every order made by the Minister under section 23(iii) shall be published by

exhibition at the Public Office of the Government and shall come into
operation on the day next following the day on which it is so published unless
otherwise provided therein.

(2) The Minister shall as soon as practicable after an order has been published in
accordance with subsection (1) further publish such order in such manner as
he may think fit for the purpose of bringing its contents to the attention of the
persons affected hereby.

25 Offences where strike, lock-out or boycott unlawful
(1) Any person who takes part in or acts in furtherance of any unlawful strike,

lock-out or boycott shall be liable to a fine of $100 and to imprisonment for 6
months.

(2) Any person who in connection with any unlawful strike, lock-out or boycott
causes, procures or counsels or in any way whatsoever encourages, persuades
or influences others or solicits, incites or attempts to procure others to take
part in any such strike, lock-out or boycott shall be liable to a fine of $200 and
to imprisonment for 1 year.

26 Legal presumptions
Where in any proceedings for an offence under section 25(1) it is proved that the
accused person —

(a) ceased work or refused to continue work or to undertake particular
work, being work which in terms of his employment he was bound to
do; or

(b) closed a place of employment or suspended work or being an employer
refused to continue to employ persons employed by him; or

(c) systematically refused to hold or abstained from holding relations or
dealings of any kind with another person,

in circumstances which give the court reasonable ground to suppose that he was
taking part in or acting in furtherance of an unlawful strike, lock-out or boycott, the
court shall presume that he was taking part in or acting in furtherance of an unlawful
strike, lock-out or boycott unless he proves to the satisfaction of the court that he
acted as aforesaid for reasons wholly unconnected with an unlawful strike, lock-out
or boycott, as the case may be.

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27 Prohibition of expulsion of members
(1) No person being a member of an organisation who refuses to take part or to

continue to take part in any unlawful strike, lock-out or boycott shall by
reason of such refusal or by reason of any action taken by him under this
section be subject to expulsion from membership of any organisation or to
any fine or other penalty or to deprivation of any right or benefit to which he
or his personal representatives would otherwise be entitled or liable to be
placed in any respect either directly or indirectly under any disability or to any
disadvantage as compared with other members of the organisation
notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the rules or constitution of an
organisation.

(2) No provision of any law limiting the proceedings which may be entertained
by the High Court or the Senior Magistrate's Court and nothing in the rules or
constitution of any organisation requiring the settlement of disputes in any
manner shall apply to proceedings for enforcing any right or exemption
secured by this section and in any such proceedings the court may, in lieu of
ordering any person who has been wrongfully expelled from membership of
an organisation to be restored to membership, order that he be paid out of the
funds of the organisation such sum by way of compensation or damages as the
court thinks just.

PART V - PROTECTION OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES, LIFE
AND PROPERTY

28 Interpretation
In this Part —

“break” means, in relation to an employee's contract of service do any act or
make any omission which amounts to a breach of the contract of service under
which he is employed;

“contract of service” means any contract whether express or implied whether
entered into orally or in writing, to employ or serve as an employee for any
period of time and whether it is a contract of service, apprenticeship or
learnership or a contract personally to execute any work for labour.

29 Breach and procurement of breach of contract by employee an offence
(1) Subject to section 30, —

(a) any employee in an essential service who wilfully breaks his contract of
service knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the probable
consequences of his so doing either alone or in combination with others

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will be to deprive the public or any section of the public of that
essential service or substantially to diminish the enjoyment of that
essential service by the public or any section of the public shall be
liable to a fine of $200 and to imprisonment for 1 year;

(b) any person who causes, procures or counsels or in any way whatsoever
encourages, persuades or influences or solicits, incites or attempts to
procure any employee in an essential service to break his contract of
service knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the probable
consequences of that employee so doing either alone or in combination
with others will be to deprive the public or any section of the public of
that essential service or substantially to diminish the enjoyment of that
essential service by the public or any section of the public shall be
liable to a fine of $300 and to imprisonment for 18 months.

(2) In any proceedings in respect of an offence under this section the court shall
presume the existence of a contract of service of the nature and in the
particular service alleged in the charge or information relating to the
proceedings unless the contrary is proved.

(3) A breach of a contract of service by an employee in an essential service shall
be deemed to be wilful unless the contrary proved.

30 Breach of employee's contract not unlawful in certain circumstances
(1) Subject to subsection (2), an employee in an essential service shall not be

guilty of an offence under section 29(1)(a) and no person shall be guilty of an
offence under section 29(1)(b) if there is a trade dispute in the essential
service in question and —
(a) the procedures prescribed by this Code for the settlement of trade

disputes have been exhausted; or
(b) 42 days have elapsed since the date on which a report of the trade

dispute was made to the Minister in accordance with section 3 and the
Minister has taken no step under section 4(1) or if he has taken such a
step his decision has not been communicated to the parties to the
dispute or to their representatives in accordance with section 4(2).

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply unless after all the procedures prescribed by
this Code for the settlement of trade disputes have been exhausted or after the
expiration of the period of 42 days referred to in subsection (1)(b) notice in
writing of the employee's intention to break his contract of service is given by
hand by him or on his behalf by a trade union of which he is a member to the
office of the Commissioner of Labour and 14 days have elapsed since
delivery of that notice.

(3) The Commissioner of Labour may by notice appoint persons to whom notices
under subsection (2) may be given and delivery of such a notice to such a

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person shall be deemed to be delivery of the notice for the purposes of that
subsection.

(4) Every person appointed under subsection (3) shall on delivery to him of a
notice under subsection (2) transmit the contents of the notice to the
Commissioner of Labour by such means as he thinks most expeditious.

(5) A notice under subsection (2) shall be in such form as the Commissioner of
Labour may by regulations prescribe.

31 Printed copy of sections 29, 30 and Schedule to be displayed by
employer
(1) Every employer in an essential service shall cause to be posted upon such

premises used for the purpose of discharging that essential service as the
Commissioner of Labour may by writing designate a notice in such form as
the Commissioner of Labour may by regulations prescribe explaining the
effect of sections 29 and 30 in some conspicuous place where the same may
conveniently be read by his employees and as often as such notice becomes
defaced, obliterated, destroyed or removed shall cause it to be replaced with
all reasonable dispatch.

(2) Any employer other than the Government who fails to comply with
subsection (1) shall be liable to a fine of $10 for every day on which he
so fails.

(3) Any person who without reasonable excuse wilfully injures, defaces,
obliterates, destroys or removes any printed copy which has been posted as
required by subsection (1) shall be liable to a fine of $20 and in any
proceedings for an offence under this subsection the proof of reasonable
excuse shall lie on the person charged with the offence.

32 Protection of life and property
(1) Any employee whether an employee in an essential service or not who

wilfully breaks his contract of service knowing or having reasonable cause to
believe that the probable consequences of his so doing either alone or in
combination with others will be to endanger human life or public health or to
cause serious bodily injury to any person or to expose valuable property to the
risk of destruction, loss or serious injury shall be liable to a fine of $200 and
to imprisonment for 1 year.

(2) Any person who causes, procures or counsels or in any way whatever
encourages, persuades or influences or solicits, incites or attempts to procure
any employee, whether an employee in an essential service or not, to break his
contract of service knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the
probable consequences of that employee so doing either alone or in
combination with others will be to endanger human life or public health or to

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cause serious bodily injury to any person or to expose valuable property to the
risk of destruction, loss or serious injury shall be liable to a fine of $300 and
to imprisonment for 18 months.

(3) In any proceedings in respect of an offence under this section the court shall
presume the existence of a contract of service of the nature alleged in the
charge or information relating to the proceedings unless the contrary
is proved.

(4) In any proceedings in respect of an offence under subsection (1) the court
shall presume that any allegation in the charge or information in relation to
the proceedings that a contract of service was wilfully broken is true unless
the contrary is proved.

33 Minister may amend Schedule
(1) The Minister may by order amend the Schedule —

(a) adding thereto further services and without prejudice to the generality
of the description of any service specified therein may by such order
specify any particular undertaking, activity or business or any class of
undertaking, activity or business as being or as being included in an
essential service;

(b) by deleting therefrom any service.

(2) A copy of every order made under subsection (1) shall be laid before
Parliament at its sitting next following the date on which the order comes into
operation and if a resolution that such notice be revoked is passed by
Parliament within a period of 20 days on which Parliament sits next following
the day on which the order is laid before it the order shall be deemed to have
been revoked on the day the resolution is passed.

PART VI - STRIKE BALLOTS

34 Strike ballots
(1) Where a question arises whether a body of employees should strike in

furtherance of a trade dispute and the number of those employees exceeds 50
that question shall be decided by a secret ballot of those employees:

Provided that where the trade dispute involves employees represented by a
trade union or by trade unions only members of that union or those unions
shall be eligible to vote.

(2) A decision to strike taken under this section shall require a two-thirds
majority of all those eligible to vote.

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(3) Where a strike takes place following a ballot under this section no ballot shall
be required to determine the strike but the Minister may advise the parties to
the dispute that in his opinion such a course is desirable.

(4) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Code, a strike which takes place
in furtherance of a trade dispute shall be unlawful unless this section has in
every appropriate case been complied with.

(5) The Commissioner of Labour may make regulations prescribing the manner
in which ballots required by this section shall be conducted.

PART VII - MISCELLANEOUS

35 Certain immunities not affected
Nothing in this Code shall in any way affect the immunities from criminal and civil
liability or process granted by Part 11 of the Trade Unions Act.3

36 Conclusion of collective agreements not affected
Nothing in this Code shall affect the right of trade anions or of other associations
representative of employees to conclude collective agreements with employers or
organisations of employers.

37 Liability of persons appointed under Code
No person shall be liable for any act done or omitted to be done by him in good faith
and without negligence in the carrying out of any function vested in hire by this
Code or regulations made thereunder.

38 Remuneration and expenses
The Minister shall determine the remuneration including allowances, to be paid to
any person appointed under this Code and the same shall be paid out of the
Consolidated Fund.

39 Regulations
(1) Subject to sections 30(5), 31(1) and 34(5), the Minister may make regulations

generally for the better carrying into effect of the provisions, objects and
intentions of this Code and in particular for prescribing the procedure to be
followed in any proceedings before a tribunal, board or the Commission or
otherwise under this Code.

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(2) The Commissioner of Labour may give directions not inconsistent with any
regulations made under subsection (1) or section 34(5) relating to the scope,
method and conduct of any particular proceedings.

40 Consent of Attorney-General required for prosecutions
No prosecution for an offence under this Code shall be instituted except by or with
the consent of the Attorney-General.



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SCHEDULE

(Section 2)

Distribution of food services

Distribution of fuel services

Electricity services (including the generation and distribution of electricity and the
maintenance of electricity supplies)

Fire services

Health services

Maintenance of internal and external air services

Movement of copra

Port services connected with the loading and unloading of vessels

Sanitary services

Search and rescue services

Shipping services

Telecommunication services

Water services

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ENDNOTES


1 1990 Revised Edition, Cap. 85 – Act 33 of 1974, LN 37/1975
2 Cap. 40.64
3 Cap. 40.64
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