Many business owners cringe at the thought of receiving a letter from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA). It can only spell trouble, frustration and expense for the business. Before you can fully understand what to do when this happens, it’s best to understand what the CCMA is, how it functions, and how to avoid getting on its wrong side.
The Who & The Why
First and foremost, the CCMA is an independent commission that has no affiliation to any other political group, union, or entity. It was designed to ensure fair treatment and compensation of workers and as such, it deals with the resolution of employment disputes and labour-related problems. A fair outcome is the main aim of the CCMA.
The CCMA has specific functions that you need to be aware of. When there is a dispute that arises between employer and employee, the CCMA can be contacted to investigate the evidence and try resolve the matter fairly. As such, the CCMA has the authority to:
- Resolve disputes by means of either conciliation or, failing that, arbitration.
- Form workplace forums that are helpful and effective.
- Publish guidelines on recommended resolutions.
- Provide information on where and how to obtain legal advice.
- Determine any fees required for dispute resolutions.
- Create regulations that affect its own processes, documents, procedures, and cost calculations. These regulations can be advertised in the Government Gazette.
The Process of Dispute Resolution with the CCMA
There’s always a process that must be followed when trying to resolve disputes. Here’s how it works with the CCMA:
- The dispute is brought to the CCMA’s attention by either the employee or employer.
- A commissioner is assigned to the case and has 30 days to try reach a resolution.
- The commissioner draws up a proposed strategy for conciliation. This includes mediation, information gathering, and a recommended solution.
- A certificate must be obtained detailing the dispute and the outcome. The commissioner has 30 days to do this.
But wait! There’s more… CCMA Advice & Training
Many people believe that the CCMA means that weeks of conflict resolution attempts are about to begin, followed by large sums of money being paid out to discontent and trouble-causing employees. That’s not the case. There’s more to the CCMA than that. In fact, the Commission also busies itself with providing advice and training to both employers and employees on valuable topics. The CCMA can teach you more about the following:
- Bargaining bodies.
- Creating workplace forums.
- How to approach and manage disputes in the workplace.
- Workplace discipline procedures.
- Affirmative action programs.
- How to prevent and deal with sexual harassment in the workplace.
Abide by Labour and Employment Laws & Regulations, & You Have Nothing to Fear
If you are abiding by the local laws and regulations that govern employment and labour, then there really is no reason to fear the CCMA. The Commission is tasked with protecting both employers and employees.
At EDMA Services, we provide comprehensive CCMA resolution services. We can process your CCMA claim, represent you effectively and get an outcome that’s beneficial to your business. To learn more about CCMA resolutions and assistance with CCMA claims, contact us at EDMA Services today.