As you savour your well-deserved holiday following a busy year, the last thing you want is to cut your vacation short to travel back for a CCMA matter. The good news is that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) recognises the need for flexibility and has embraced digital platforms to facilitate proceedings even when you are kilometres away from the workplace.
If you are on holiday, possibly in a different province, and a CCMA matter is scheduled, fret not. The CCMA now provides the possibility to conduct proceedings digitally, making it more convenient for the parties involved. Platforms like Microsoft Teams have become a familiar and shared space for these virtual encounters, ensuring that geographical distances don’t impede the resolution of workplace disputes.
The process of requesting a digital hearing is relatively straightforward. Parties can submit a joint request or, in some cases, make individual applications to have the matter heard through digital platforms or telephonically. This step reflects the CCMA’s commitment to adapting to the evolving landscape of work and technology. It is crucial to submit requests promptly 14 days prior to the set-down date and follow up if feedback or confirmation is not received.
However, as you prepare for a CCMA matter during your holiday, you must ensure adequate reception for your digital device. A stable internet connection or reliable phone signal is essential to avoid disruptions during the proceedings. This becomes even more critical if you find yourself in an area with spotty network coverage.
Load shedding, a familiar challenge for many South Africans, adds another layer of consideration. To ensure a smooth CCMA process, ensure a sufficient and reliable electricity supply. Being aware of your area’s load-shedding schedule is crucial. Suppose a date and time for the matter coincide with a load-shedding slot. In that case, it is essential to communicate issues to the CCMA proactively and to make necessary arrangements rather than simply not attending.
The digitalisation of CCMA matters has made it possible to address workplace disputes even when you’re on holiday. Embracing platforms like Microsoft Teams or telephonic proceedings allows for flexibility, but it’s essential to be mindful of connectivity issues and potential interruptions, including load shedding. By considering these factors, you can navigate CCMA matters seamlessly, even from the comfort of your holiday destination.
Article By Edrich Fourie & Kenneth Lennox
Dispute Resolution Officials at Consolidated Employers Organisation (CEO SA)