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What's a pre-arbitration conference and why must you conduct one?

by , 05 February 2014
One of the vital steps you must take to prepare for arbitration is to conduct a pre-arbitration conference. What exactly is a pre-arbitration conference? And why is it important that you conduct it? Read on to find out...

A pre-arbitration conference is essentially a meeting between you and your opponent (the employee who's taken you to court). You can either have this conference with your opponent or with his legal representative. You're also allowed to have legal representation during this meeting...

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171 336 New cases are referred to the CCMA every year...
You could be next!
 
That's 
14278 every month;
649 every working day; and
81 every working hour.
 
Scary, isn't it? 
 
And the odds are, there will come a day when an employee refers you to the CCMA for something he thinks you did wrong. 
 
And when he does... You're going to be prepared. Find out how...

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What's the purpose of a pre-arbitration conference?

The aim of this conference is to discuss any issues you may before the arbitration to save time and shorten the proceedings.

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says this conference isn't an essential requirement but it's advisable that you have it.

Here's what you must discuss when you conduct a pre-arbitration conference

  • Other means to settle the dispute;
  • Facts that you agree on;
  • Facts that are in dispute;
  • Issues that the Commissioner must decide;
  • The precise relief claimed and, if compensation is claimed, the amount of the compensation and how it'll be calculated;
  • Sharing and exchanging relevant documents;
  • How you plan to deal with documentary evidence during arbitration.
  • How you'll submit the evidence on affidavit (a statement by a witness or the accused). For example, with or without the right of any party to cross-examine the person who made the affidavit.
  • The party that must start first at arbitration.
  • The right of representation. Remember that legal representation isn't allowed in cases of misconduct or incapacity. But there may be an exception if you, your opponent and the Commissioner agree to it.
  • Whether or not you'll need an interpreter. If so, for how long and for which languages.



Keep in mind that the issues you'll discuss during a pre-arbitration conference will depend on the nature of the case.

Knowing what a pre-arbitration conference is and why you need to conduct will help you prepare thoroughly for arbitration.

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