Labour Law (CCMA Budgetary Constraints)

The Current Crisis Being Created by the CCMA’s Budgetary Constraints

The year of 2020 has been a difficult and dark year as COVID-19 had its say in everything, especially when it came to businesses and their implemented budget constraints as a result of COVID-19 regulations and lockdowns. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) functions as a social services organisation in South Africa, handling work-related disputes between employers and employees. Throughout 2020, and going into 2021, such disputes have been frequently increasing as a result of retrenchments, sudden budgetary restraints, and other elements that resulted from COVID-19.

The Perfect Storm

Unfortunately, the CCMA was not immune to the effects of COVID-19, reporting that the organisation faced a budget cut of R617 million. As a result, they had to evaluate their operations and reprioritise their spending to allow them to continue to offer dispute resolution services in the workplace. The CCMA was originally established to ensure the protection and promotion of fair labour rights and upholding the labour law in South Africa, equipping employees to seek legal counsel and representation when they are faced with a dispute at their workplace. Now, their functionality is at risk because of these major budget constraints, with some believing that the severe budget cuts could bring the organisation to a complete standstill in the near future.

The Implications

The CCMA employs a alrge contingent of part-time commissioners to hear the majority of the CCMA’s cases. With the implemented budget constraints, the CCMA stated that the part-time commissioners would have no new cases assignedto them until the new budget period. This alone could bring the CCMA to a standstill, as no new matters have been presented recently, leading to a severe backlog that is being created currently. This is where we come into the picture.

Allardyce & Partners Attorneys is a boutique firm with specialist labour lawyers at our disposal. If you seek professional and knowledgeable legal counsel and representation when you are faced with a labour dispute, we have your back. Please contact us on 011 234 2125 or email us at enquiries@allardyce.co.za for more info.