Practical Tips for CCMA Cases

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Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and its Origin
– The CCMA is a dispute resolution body;
– It was established in terms of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 (LRA);
– It is an independent body with a mission to promote labour stability, social justice, and job security;
– Importantly, its services are for free;
• The LRA created the CCMA, Labour Court and Labour Appeals Court as specialised dispute resolution institutions;
• The LRA requires that most of the disputes must first be referred for conciliation, which can be at the CCMA or any other statutory bargaining council;
• If the conciliation fails, the LRA prescribes a dispute resolution to be followed, i.e. arbitration at CCMA / Statutory Bargaining Council or the Labour Court;
Functions
• To conciliate disputes in a workplace;
• Arbitrate certain disputes that remain unresolved after conciliation;
• Establish picketing rules;
• Facilitate the establishment of workplace forums and statutory councils;
• Consider applications for accreditations and subsidy for bargaining councils, private agencies, etc.;
Timeframes
• A dispute of dismissal must be referred to the CCMA within 30 days for conciliation (Conciliation/Arbitration)
• A dispute of unfair labour practice must be referred to the CCMA within 90 days.
• If a dispute remains unresolved and a Commissioner has issued a certificate in terms of Section 135(5), it may be referred to arbitration within 90 days;
• If a party wants to review an award to the Labour Court, it must be done within 6 weeks from the date of such an award;
• NB – If you cannot comply with the above time frames, an application for late condonation can be launched;
Representation
Rule 25 regulates that:
• At conciliation, the lawyers are not allowed;
• Lawyers can represent the parties at the hearing on the condition that:
– the parties consent.
– the complexity of a dispute justifies legal representation;
– legal representation is in the public interest;
– Their respective Knowledge of the law
Litigation steps at the CCMA
1. Consultation.
2. Referral to the CCMA;
3. Application for legal representation;
4. Pre-Arbitration minutes;
5. Preparation of the bundle (include pagination);
6. Arbitration;
7. Review (if not happy) (Labour Court);
8. Founding Affidavit;
9. Filling of records;
10. Opposing Affidavit;
11. Answering Affidavit;
12. Pagination / Index;
13. Hearing of the Arguments.

Johannes Mokotedi, Van Velden-Duffey Inc

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