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Do I need legal representation at CCMA conciliation?

by , 30 September 2014
CCMA conciliation is a dispute resolution process where a Commissioner meets with you and your employee to try to find ways of settling a dispute.

The great thing about conciliation is it can save you time and money.

If you settle the dispute there, you don't have to go to arbitration or the Labour Court where a Commissioner or a judge will make a decision about the dispute.

Now one question our experts always get regarding this process is whether or not employers need legal representation at CCMA conciliation.

Read on to find out the answer...


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No, you don't need legal representation at CCMA conciliation


None of the parties can have legal representation at conciliation proceedings.

Your employee can represent himself. Alternatively, a member or an official of the trade union he belongs to can represent him.

But what about you the employer?

A director or employee in your company can represent you.

If you're a close corporation, a member of the close corporation can be a representative.

Is there anything you can do if your employee shows up at conciliation with a legal representative?

 
If your employee arrives at CCMA conciliation with a representative she's not entitled to, for example, a lawyer, you must object. The Commissioner will then ask the representative to leave.

When it comes to CCMA conciliation, always remember this…
 

Don't be fooled into thinking that, because neither of you will give formal evidence and the Commissioner can't make decisions at conciliation, it's not necessary to prepare, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

'You must prepare to have meaningful settlement discussions at conciliation. You must know the full details and background of the matter and, if necessary and appropriate, get a mandate for possible settlement,' adds the Loose Leaf Service.

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