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Can I appeal an arbitration award by the CCMA?

by , 02 September 2014
Let's say, your employee takes you to the CCMA for unfair dismissal.

You then put a lot of hard work and preparation into your CCMA case, but unfortunately you still lose and a CCMA award goes against you.

The award tells you to:

• Reinstate (or re-employ) your employee by a specified date; and
• Pay him an amount of money, also by a specified date.

But you're unhappy about an award given against you and you're now wondering if you can appeal.

Read on to find out whether or not you can appeal an arbitration award by the CCMA.


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Bad news! You can't appeal an arbitration award by the CCMA


While you may be unhappy that your employee has an award in his favour, you can't appeal it. An award made by a CCMA Commissioner is final and binding on you.

In fact, according to the report CCMA for Managers, neither the CCMA Rules nor the Labour Relations Act (LRA) allow for an appeal – which means you can't have the matter re-heard by another court or another arbitrator if you're unhappy.

But it's not all doom and gloom.

The Labour Court does however, have the power to review an award given by a CCM Commissioner


A review is an enquiry into the procedural correctness of the arbitration and the Commissioner's decision only.

The Labour Court can only review decisions and rulings where the award has been improperly obtained or where the Commissioner did one of the following:

  • Committed misconduct in relation to his duties;
  • Committed a gross irregularity in the conduct of the proceedings;
  • Exceeded his powers; and
  • Failed to make a decision that was reasonable based on the facts.
 
The bottom is that you can't appeal an arbitration award by the CCMA, it's final and binding on you.

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