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