In terms of CCMA procedure, matters can be set down for a Con- Arb process. This is a dual process in which, on the day of the CCMA hearing, a conciliation will take place. If the conciliation is unsuccessful and no resolution is reached, then the arbitration will commence directly after the conciliation. A party may, however, object to the arbitration commencing on the same day in terms of the CCMA rules. The result of which is that the arbitration will take place on another date to be issued by the Commission.

In terms of the CCMA rules, a notice of objection must be served on the CCMA as well as the other party to the dispute at least 7 days prior to the hearing. A party would have to state in its notice that it objects to the arbitration taking place after the conciliation process. It is also advisable that the party provide details of an address where it can receive documents for the purposes of the dispute, such as an email, fax or postal address. The notice should be served on the case manager at the CCMA via email or via fax and details of which may be found on the notice of set down. Proof of service to the other party must also be attached to your notice of objection when it is sent to the CCMA.

It is further advised that a copy of the objection and proof of service be available on the day of the process as these documents are often misfiled, and you may be requested to provide proof of service and filing of the objection.

It must also be noted that for certain disputes, objections are not permitted, such as:

  1. Dismissal and unfair labour practice disputes relating to probation.
  2. Compliance orders referred in terms of Section 69(5) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997.
  3. Section 73A disputes in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 for failing to pay any amount owing in terms of this section.

Hence for the above disputes, the arbitration will commence directly after the conciliation process having been exhausted.

Should you require any further information on objecting to the con-arb process, kindly contact your nearest CEO office for assistance.

Article by: Krian Rathinam
Dispute Resolution Official – Durban