Section 23 (1) (d) is a tiny arrangement with serious effects. Prior to the introduction of the LRA, there were legal loopholes and uncertainties about the binding effect of the collective agreement (Du Toit (ed) et al 311-312). Only the collective agreement concluded with the works councils had a binding effect and was considered a secondary character (« Collective Agreements: a Comparative Study between Belgium and South Africa » (1998) Unpublished LLM Doctoral Thesis (University of South Africa) 82). However, the labour courts have always expressed: That the will of the majority, if it is in the interest of both the majority union and the majority of the workers concerned, should be given priority over that of an individual (Ramolesane – another v Andres Mentis another (1991) 12 ILJ 329 (LAC) by 335H, see also Du Toit « A wind convention, which is the collective good? Collective representation in non-legal collective bargaining and the limits of union power (1994) 15 ILJ 39). The courts therefore supported the position that collective agreements negotiated by majority unions and in the interests of majority workers bound them and bound the minority regardless of the forum on which they were negotiated (ibid.). Conflicts between inter-professional agreements and enterprise agreements are resolved through the system of exemptions. If a company with its own enterprise agreement is also a member of an employer organization involved in the negotiation of collective agreements, that company will ensure that it is excluded from the scope of a sectoral agreement by the parties to this agreement. In this case, the company does not enter the scope of the inter-professional agreement and therefore cannot be covered by a decree on general applicability. In addition, any employer bound by an enterprise agreement may apply to be exempted from general application during the adoption of the decree. If that is the reason for their trap, the general applicability guidelines given by the Minister of Social Affairs guarantee that this exemption will be granted. [89] The Minister will not verify the equivalent compliance between the enterprise agreement and the inter-professional agreement. Nor is it mandatory that the enterprise agreement was concluded by the same union or union as the branch agreement, the only condition being that the enterprise contract be valid and binding. If the enterprise contract covers far fewer issues than the branch contract, it will always be a collective agreement that deserves an exception.

The same applies when the level of protection of the enterprise agreement is lower than that of the inter-professional agreement. Unions must take this into account when entering into an enterprise agreement. Collective agreements under Dutch law are based on contract law. Under the Contracts Act in general, social partners, i.e. employers and trade unions, have the freedom to negotiate or not. This means that Dutch law does not contain a general obligation to conclude agreements and/or amend them regularly, as some other countries do (for example.B.