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Important Aspects of the Con-Arb Proceedings at the CCMA

If you received a notice of an arbitration hearing or a Con-Arb at the CCMA, you will need advice from a labour lawyer. Though you cannot have legal representation as employee at the CCMA conciliation proceedings, you are entitled to legal representation at the arbitration or the Con-Arb at the CCMA. That being said, whether you will be represented or only need advice from a labour lawyer regarding proceedings or the particular dispute – you can make use of our services.

We briefly take a look at some aspects related to the Con-Arb hearing at the CCMA for which you may need advice from a labour lawyer.

Difference Between the Con-Arb and the Arbitration Hearing

In order to speed up the process of dispute resolution, a Con-Arb can be called. This is a combination of the dates of the conciliation and arbitration hearings. The Con-Arb is thus a single process and the conciliation and arbitration hearings take place on the same day. As such, you will be able to get legal representation by a labour lawyer.

When Does the Con-Arb Apply?

It is a compulsory process if it is an unfair labour practice dispute with regards to probation. Where the Con-Arb is not compulsory, you may object to it by notifying the CCMA and the opposing party in writing of your opposition at least seven days before the scheduled Con-Arb, and you are not under any legal obligation to state your reasons for objection. Make use of our services should you need advice from a labour lawyer regarding the issue.

Benefits of the Con-Arb

Because it is held on one day, it is cheaper than having to go through conciliation and then arbitration on different occasions. It is also beneficial in the sense that the particular labour dispute can be resolved quicker.

Notice Period

The CCMA will give both parties to the dispute 14 days’ notice of the Con-Arb date. The notice is in writing and delivery of such is ensured.

When Legal Representation is Not Applicable at the Con-Arb Hearing

If the dispute is about unfair dismissal related to employee conduct or capacity, you will need to apply for legal representation. The commissioner will take various factors into consideration, such as whether it is in the best interest of the public, the comparative ability of the parties to deal with the dismissal dispute, and the complexity of the dispute, as well as legal issues forming part of the dispute. You can make use of our guidance should you need advice from a labour lawyer on how to proceed to apply to the commissioner for the right to legal representation if it is a dispute about dismissal.

Objection to the Con-Arb Outcome

If the dispute remains unresolved after the Con-Arb, the commissioner issues a certificate to state unresolved dispute. If you are unsatisfied with the outcome, you can then apply for arbitration and the commissioner’s decision at the arbitration will be legally binding on both parties. You will be entitled to legal representation, but keep in mind that there may be instances where such will not be allowed and for which you will then need to apply for the right to legal representation. This may be the case if the dispute is about unfair dismissal related to your capacity or conduct as employee.

Other Labour and Employment Issues

Whether you need advice from a labour lawyer regarding the terms and conditions of your employment contract, want assistance in drafting a labour policy, require legal representation at the Labour Court, or need assistance in resolving a labour issue, you can rely on our team of labour law attorneys for expert guidance.

Contact us on (011) 234 2125 should you need advice from a labour lawyer regarding CCMA hearings, disciplinary action, employment contracts or labour disputes.




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. Information is relevant to the date of publishing – September 2017.

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