How to Appeal CCMA Ruling

Are you unhappy about the award or ruling of the arbitrator at your recent CCMA hearing? Losing can be a bitter pill to swallow, but what’s worse is not being able to do anything about it. Unfortunately, where a party at the CCMA or bargaining council is unhappy with the award or ruling of an arbitrator, they do not have the right of appeal. But did you know that you still have other options available to you, even after the CCMA has ruled against you? Just because you can’t appeal, it does not mean that you can’t rescind or request a review.

If the CCMA rules against you or your company, unfortunately, you can’t appeal against their decision. Yes, the Labour Relations Act (LRA) does not allow any party to appeal against an arbitration ruling. However, such rulings can be overturned by other means, within six weeks of the ruling being served. In terms of section 145 of the Labour Relations Act, a party may apply to the Labour Court on the basis of an alleged defect with a commissioner or arbitrator’s ruling. The aggrieved party has the right to take the arbitrator to the Labour Court, if they believe that the arbitrator has acted incorrectly in respect of the case in question. With an application to the Labour Court, the review application should by no means be viewed as an appeal against the decision, but rather as a claim that the arbitrator acted incorrectly in the following manners:

  • Committed a gross irregularity in the conduct of the arbitration proceedings.
  • Committed misconduct in relation to his/her arbitration duties.
  • Delivering a biased ruling.
  • Exceeded his/her powers.
  • Failure to apply his/her mind to the facts in evidence.
  • Guilty in taking a bribe.
  • Ignored statutory requirements or legal principles.
  • Made the ruling improperly.
  • Refused to allow valid and relevant evidence to be brought.
  • Unduly assisted the one or other party with his/her case.
  • Used evidence that was not put before the arbitrator.


To avoid a trip to the CCMA headquarters, it is always best to obtain advice from a labour law expert in assessing any form of workplace dispute before decisions are made and action is taken. Furthermore, should you find yourself at the CCMA headquarters unexpectedly, labour law experts can assist you in preparing for the arbitration hearing.

We Are a Boutique Law Firm Specialising in Labour and Employment Law

While finding a good labour lawyer is great, finding a brilliant one is even better. Registered as specialised labour lawyers with the Law Society of South Africa, we are a boutique law firm specialising in labour law and employment law. Taking great pride in our specialised labour law services and keeping clients at the forefront of developments in employment laws, new legislation and training, not only do we have the expertise, understanding and compassion required for this field, but we also have the legal muscle to deal with every type of workplace dispute, and have acted in numerous high-profile cases throughout South Africa.

Boasting a formidable reputation complemented with the backing of an exceptional team of attorneys and paralegals, we act in defence of the distressed and assist employers, employees, trade unions and employer organisations with legal advice and CCMA legal assistance.

For more information on how to appeal a CCMA ruling, as well as our labour law consultation services and rates – contact us at or on 011 234 2125 today.


NB: this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult with us before using/relying on this information.

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