What is the CCMA?

The CCMA stands for the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. The CCMA is a body set up to assist employers and employees resolve disputes which arise in the workplace. The rules of the CCMA are governed by the Labour Relations Act which clearly states that;

“Every employee has the right not to be unfairly dismissed and subjected to unfair labour practice.”

Who can refer a dispute?

If you are an employee having a dispute with your employer, or vice versa, you can refer the dispute to the CCMA.

It is generally easy to determine who the employer is, however it can be challenging to determine whether a person is considered an employee.

The Labour Relations Act includes a provision detailing who is presumed to be an employee and states that if any one or more of the following conditions exist, the person is considered to be an employee;

  1. The manner which the person works is subject to the control or direction of another person;
  2. The persons hours of work are subject to the control or direction of another person;
  3. If the person works for an organisation and the person is considered to form part of that organisation;
  4. The person worked for the other person for an average of 40 hours per month over the last 3 months;
  5. The person is economically dependent on the other person;
  6. The person is provided with the tools of trade or work equipment by the other person; or
  7. The person only works or renders services to one person.

What types of disputes can be referred to the CCMA:

Any employer / employee may refer a dispute to the CCMA for any one or more of the following types of disputes;

  • The employee has been dismissed and the dismissal is deemed unfair;
  • Any unfair labour practice including inter alia, promotion, demotion, unfair suspension etc; or
  • Either party feels they have been discriminated against.

When to refer a dispute:

If there is a dispute with regards to an unfair dismissal the parties have 30 (thirty) days from the date on which the dispute arose to refer their matter to the CCMA.

If the dispute is one arising out of an unfair labour practice the parties have 90 (ninety) days from the date on which the dispute arose to refer the matter to the CCMA.

If either party believe they have been discriminated against the parties have 6 months from the date the dispute arose to refer the matter to the CCMA.

Referring the dispute

If you want to refer a dispute you will be required to complete a CCMA case referral form (also known as a LRA Form 7.11).

Once you have lodged the form with the CCMA you will be required to serve the form on the other party. This can be done by emailing, faxing or posting the form. You will however be required to show proof of service.

The CCMA will then contact you and the other party and inform you as to the date, time and venue of the first hearing.

The first hearing is referred to as conciliation. During conciliation the CCMA commissioner will attempt to assist you and the other party to resolve the dispute by reaching an agreement acceptable to both parties.

If you are unable to reach agreement a certificate is issued and the matter will either be referred to arbitration or the Labour Court depending on the type of dispute.

For more information on this or any other legal related queries please contact us at 033 392 8000


By: Jenna Kate Freeguard – Attorney | Litigation

11 replies
  1. Monnapule mosebetsi
    Monnapule mosebetsi says:

    I have a case at ccma and wer discuss with my employer but nothing have done so far i will like the matter be transfer to the abbitration

  2. Ntombizodwa
    Ntombizodwa says:

    My name is Ntombizodwa Ncube have been working for7years 10months upto a domestic worker she kept on promising register me at uif of which she never did now she is moving to the new house she wants to leave me with her friends who are coming to rent the old house of which I’m not comfortable with it what can I do

  3. Wiliam Longwe
    Wiliam Longwe says:

    I would like to ask for help. My wife she has been working for other family as a domestic worker for 5 years but two days ago when we lost a brother and wife in accident she did not go to work for a day and give an excuse. By the following day she went to work and get fired and given two weeks pay the money she has worked for. We tryd to ask what went wrong she broked us on whatsaap. How can get help?

    • Randles
      Randles says:

      Hi William. Thank you for your comment. Please can you email and one of our team will pick it up from there. Alternatively please send us your contact details in order for us to chat to you. Thank you! The Randles team


    Hi,my name is Michael,im engaged with a company from the 11 of November 2018 to date, appointed as customer service team member(Cashier)yet doing the duties of a Shift supervisor which am not even paid for ,being promised to be appointed as shift supervisor after 6 months,cause im a qualified experienced restaurant manager.Now on the the 10 of April 2019 i received a notice,notifying me that i am transferred from a position of cashier to Shift supervisor as promised,and the following month i will get paid shift supervisor job,but come pay date for May nothing changed,still got paid as a cashier ,even my title never changed.When i approached the Area coach to inquire,he presented me with a notice of demotion.
    Is the this fair labour practice???? Can i refer the case to CCMA or not?I feel like these conditions are no longer making it convenient for me to stay in this employment relation. Please advise me

  5. john
    john says:

    hi..i have been employed on a 12 month fixed contract since 2011 until dismissed last monday 12th august 2019 for gross misconduct stating that i refuse to carry out instructions by not parking the client vehicle at the
    designated place after shift…my dispute is that my ex employer was not able to present to me factual evidence like dates ,times and places whereby he said he told me that i was not carrying out his instructions..further more i dont have a fixed signed contract with him where i can read the rules where he charge me for misconduct..what shoud i do because i feel the dismissal is is very much unfair for i was never given any verbal or first written warning

    • Randles
      Randles says:

      Good Day,

      Thank you for your enquiry on our article!

      Please note that our articles are for information purposes only and to do not establish a client relationship nor constitute legal advice.

      In order to ensure that you receive tailored advice in response to your query, please contact us to make an appointment with one of our legal practitioners who will assist further.

      Kind Regards,
      The Randles Team


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