Amended CCMA Rules enforceable as at 1 April 2015

2015-04-01 19:14

The Rules for the Conduct of Proceedings before the Commission  for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (hereafter referred to as the CCMA) came into effect on 1 April 2015. What follows below are some of the more interesting amendments to the Rules: The serving and filing of documents

  • E-mail service - The service and filling of documents can now be effected by way of email. The Electronic Communication and Transactions  Act 2002 finds application to  issues may arise in relation to the service of email.
  • SMS Service -Though the CCMA has already been providing notice to parties by way of SMS, however this process has now been formalised as a valid manner within which to notify parties.
Where parties are notified by way of registered post, the rules dictate that an additional (seven) 7 days must be allowed. Failure on part of the referring party to attend conciliation

  • Rule 13 now tells us that in the event that a referring party fails to attend conciliations, where previously the matter could be dismissed. The Commissioner has the discretion to "conclude the proceedings by issuing a certificate that the dispute remains unresolved" [Rule 13(1)(c)]
  • When the Commissioner is excising their duty in relation to the above [Rule 13(1)(c)] the commissioner should take into account , amongst other things, the following:

    • Whether the party has previously failed to attend the conciliation in this dispute;
    • any reason provided for failing to attend;
    • whether conciliation can take place effectively in the absence of one or more of the parties
Non-compliance with failure to file statements
  • Commissioner will have a discretion to continue with a matter despite non-compliance with the CCMA rules or commissioner's directions for parties to file statements.
  • This non-compliance will be taken into account when considering costs at the conclusion of the Arbitration.
Making applications relating to preliminary aspects Any party who wishes to bring point in limine (preliminary issue) applications  is required to do so within 14 days of the before the date of the Hearing. Digital Recordings It is now mandatory for a digital record to be kept and for notes to be made. (previously digital recordings were not mandatory). Costs - Arbitration Proceedings Commissioner now have the power to order costs in relation to reasonable disbursements incurred where one party is represented by a legal representative. For fees, costs can be ordered where both parties are legally represented. Awards

Any arbitration award that was certified and where an order for payment of an amount of money may be enforced by execution against property of the employer by the sheriff of the court within the magisterial district where the employer resides or conducts business.

Where the award orders for the performance of an act may be enforced by way of contempt of proceedings in the Labour Court.

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