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Here's why it's best to hold a pre-conciliation meeting in the run-up to CCMA conciliation

by , 03 October 2014
CCMA conciliation is a negotiation process where you and your employee try to reach a settlement agreement to resolve the dispute. A CCMA Commissioner (conciliator) facilitates your attempt to reach an out of court settlement.

Legally, the Commissioner has the power to hold a pre-conciliation meeting at the CCMA in an attempt to get you and your employee to agree on early settlement.

The good news is, you too can hold a private pre-conciliation meeting with your employee in the run-up to CCMA conciliation.

Here's why our labour experts strongly advise you hold this meeting...

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Our labour experts advise you to hold a pre-conciliation meeting – here's why

According to the experts behind the CCMA for Managers, if the case goes all the way to arbitration, experience shows that if there's a technical hitch somewhere in the procedure, the arbitrator will latch onto it. It may even be a minor technicality, but the arbitrator will still rule against you and award in favour of your employee because of it.
That's where a pre-conciliation meeting comes in.
It will give you an opportunity to solve the dispute earlier on.
In fact, our experts say, 'if you can resolve the dispute before going anywhere near the CCMA, do so.'

A pre-conciliation meeting is essentially an informal chat with your employee

The four questions you want answers to are:
  1. What are your employee's reasons for saying the dismissal was unfair?
  2. On what facts is he basing his case?
  3. What makes him think he has a case based on a solid foundation?
  4. What relief or compensation is he seeking?
You'll get a chance to see whether he's basing his case on some genuine fact you have overlooked which never came out at the disciplinary hearing, or on purely frivolous reasons.
You may also find that your case is weak. In this instance, you can decide to settle the matter.
So think about holding a pre-conciliation meeting in the run-up to CCMA conciliation. It may help you resolve the matter sooner without going near the CCMA.

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