According to CCMA.org, when conciliation fails, a party may request the CCMA to resolve the dispute by arbitration.
At an arbitration hearing, a commissioner gives both parties (you and your employee) an opportunity to fully state your cases.
There are the four stages to an arbitration hearing
Step #1: Each party makes an opening statement
The Commissioner will usually allow both you and your employee to make an opening statement.
Step #2: You present your case
The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says you'll then present your case in four stages:
Make sure you've led all the evidence you need before you close your case. The Commissioner won't usually allow you to call any more witnesses after closing your case.
Step #3: Your employee presents his case
Your employee will now get a chance to present his case. He can do this by giving evidence himself, and he can also call witnesses to support his case. He'll give evidence-in-chief and you'll have a chance to cross examine him.
After that he can respond, or his representative can re-examine him. He'll repeat this process for each witness he calls. When your employee has called all his witnesses, he'll close his case.
Step #4: Each party argues its case
Once you and your employee have closed your cases, the Commissioner will give you each a turn to make a closing statement. This is referred to as argument.
The Loose Leaf Service explains: Sometimes if time has run out, or if parties need time to prepare their argument, the Commissioner will adjourn the proceedings before argument.
In that case, he'll either ask you to come back on another day to present argument, or allow you to hand in a written argument by a specified date. Written argument about a case is also referred to as heads of argument.
After this step you'll have to wait for the outcome of the hearing.
Knowing the four main steps of an arbitration hearing will help ensure you know what to expect at the CCMA and, in turn, increases your chances of winning your case.