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How long do you have to wait for the outcome of an arbitration hearing?

by , 14 October 2014
There are four steps to an arbitration hearing:

1. Each party makes an opening statement;
2. You present your case;
3. Your employee presents his case; and
4. Each party argues its case.

After this, the hearing is over and the Commissioner must decide on the outcome.

But do you know how long you have to wait for an outcome? Is it a few days? Weeks? Months? Years?

Read on to find out the answer so you can ensure you get the award on time.


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Here's how long you have to wait for the outcome of an arbitration hearing


Once an arbitration hearing is over, you'll have to wait for the outcome in the form of a written arbitration award.

The Labour Relations Act (LRA) makes it clear that the Commissioner must give his award, with brief reasons, within 14 days of concluding the arbitration proceedings. And he must serve the award on each party (or their representatives).

If a Commissioner already knows at the end of arbitration proceedings that he won't be able to give his award within 14 days, he may ask you and your employee to give him extra time, for example, an extra 14 days.

It's best to agree to this request as it's usually a good indication the Commissioner will ensure his award is ready by the agreed extended date.

What happens if you don't get any response even after 14 days of the conclusion of an arbitration hearing?


If you don't get the award or a response, write to the senior Commissioner for your regional CCMA. (You can get the contact details on the CCMA's website.)

Now that you know how long you have to wait for an outcome of an arbitration hearing, make sure the Commissioner gives you the award on time so you'll have finality on the matter.

PS: For more information on all things regarding the CCMA, check out CCMA for Managers.


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