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Shop Steward Training

The purpose of this course is to understand the role and function as a Shop Steward and to facilitate good relationship between management and unions to ensure sound labour relations.


A shop steward plays a vital role in a unionized workplace. He is responsible for ensuring that the rights of workers are protected and that management adheres to the terms of its collective bargaining agreement. 
To many union members, the steward is the core of the union; in essence their primary connection to their union.  Stewards are the first person a member looks to for guidance, leadership, and help, and as such is a challenging and critical role.

Course Objectives

Purpose of the course

This course examines the role of stewardship in the workplace and helps participants understand that role, its key responsibilities, and effective ways to deal with conflict and issues in the workplace.
The purpose of this course is to understand the role and function as a Shop Steward and to facilitate good relationship between management and unions to ensure sound labour relations.


  • After completion, participants should be able understand the roles, functions and responsibilities of shop stewards.
  • Delegates will be able to understand the disciplinary procedures, including how to identify and categorise transgressions, implement appropriate procedures and represent the company or an employee at a disciplinary hearing.
  • Delegates will be more equipped to assist and advise fellow employees and managers.


Who is this Training Course for?

Union officials, shop stewards, employment relations managers/ practitioners, general managers, line managers, HR Managers, individuals that assist fellow employees in the workplace in general including in disciplinary hearings.

The Course Content

Module 1: The role of the shop steward

  • Functions and duties of shop stewards
  • Roles and responsibilities


Module 2: Rights of employers and employees

  • Employee rights
  • Employer rights


Module 3: Overview of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act


3.1        Regulation of Working Time

  • Hours of Work and Overtime
  • Lunch and coffee breaks
  • Sunday Work; Night Work
  • Public Holidays


3.2        Leave

  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Proof of Incapacity
  • Maternity Leave
  • Family Responsibility leave)
  • Absenteeism


3.3        Particulars of Employment and Remuneration

  • Written Particulars of Employment
  • Informing Employees of their rights
  • Performing of Remuneration
  • Deductions from remuneration
  • Calculations of Remuneration and Wages


3.4        Termination of Employment

  • Notice of termination
  • Payment instead of Notice
  • Payments on Termination
  • Certificate of Service


3.5        Sectoral Determinations


Module 4: Overview of the Labour Relations Act


4.1       Collective Bargaining

  • Trade Union Representatives
  • Trade Union access to the Workplace
  • Deduction of trade union subscriptions or levies
  • Leave for Trade union activities
  • Disclosure of Information
  • Organisational rights I collective agreements
  • Disputes about organisational rights


4.2       Collective Agreements

  • Legal effect of collective agreement
  • Disputes about collective agreements
  • Agency Shop Agreements
  • Closed shop agreements


4.3     The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and  Bargaining Councils


4.4        Schedule 8: the Code of Good Practice on dismissal              

  • Introduction
  • Fair reasons for dismissal
  • Automatic unfair dismissals
  • Standard of conduct
  • Progressive discipline
  • Dismissals for misconduct
  • Fair procedure
  • Disciplinary records
  • Dismissals and industrial action
  • Probation


Module 5: Grievance procedures

  • Interests of employees and the employer
  • Exclusions from grievance procedure
  • Evolving industrial relations
  • Time limits
  • Assistance of grievance procedures
  • Resolution of a grievance
  • Additional evidence and information
  • Further remedies
  • Recordings and minutes


Module 6: Workplace discipline

  • Disciplinary code and procedures
  • Different types of misconduct

Module 7: Disciplinary sanctions

  • Verbal warnings
  • Written warnings
  • Final written warnings
  • Denial of privileges
  • Suspension without pay 

Module 8: How to assist members/ fellow employees-

8.1       Disciplinary Hearings

  • CCMA and Bargaining Councils
  • Disciplinary Hearings
  • Preliminary issues/points in limine, jurisdictional matters
  • Leading and testing evidence and versions
  • The opening statement
  • Cross-examination
  • Re-examination
  • Written statements
  • Evidentiary burden
  • Sources and types of evidence and its admissibility during disciplinary hearings and arbitrations 

8.2       Counselling Sessions

8.3       Operational Requirements (Retrenchments)


Module 9: Unfair labour practice

  • Promotion
  • Demotion
  • Probation 

Provision of benefits 

Different types of misconduct and how to assist fellow employees and union members.

Module 10: Procedural fairness:  Misconduct, incapacity and operational requirements

  • Misconduct
  • Incapacity
  • Operational requirements

Module 11

  • Practical – Role plays

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