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Did you know that trade unions can claim these four rights over your business's communication systems?

by , 29 October 2015
Are your employees wasting time they're supposed to be working by abusing your business's communication systems, such as your telephones, internet and computers?

If so, it's more than likely a very concerning issue for you, as it can lead to many hours of lost working time.

But that's not all! Because trade unions can also make demands from you regarding your communication systems - which are already not being used for their main purpose.

So take note of these four demands that unions can make in claiming their rights to your communication systems and prepare yourself accordingly:


Trade unions can demand access to your facilities in order to communicate with their members as well as to carry out other duties of trade union representatives. These demands are very similar to their demands to use your photocopying facilities.


They can also demand that you DO NOT monitor these systems used by employees and trade union officials.


You have an obligation to protect your employee's personal information.

You have to protect your employees' data and personal information. This is according to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI).

If the employee's personal data is leaked and it lands in the wrong hands, you could face a fine of up to R10 million or a prison sentence.

But, you can avoid this…Here's how…


Trade unions can claim the right to use your communication systems to send and receive communications, which are completely unrelated to your business, during working hours.


They can make use of online bulletin boards for trade unions and employees.

*NOTE: You can refuse to give in to any of these demands if you reasonably suspect that it will be risky to your business. You can refer trade unions to your Internet Policy.

To learn more on managing your communication systems with regard to monitoring, employee privacy, and so on, subscribe to Labour Law for Managers.

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