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Is there a difference between CCMA conciliation and arbitration?

by , 18 September 2014
Our labour experts get a lot of questions regarding labour issues.

One question that keeps coming up is whether or not there's a difference between CCMA conciliation and arbitration.

The short answer to this question is 'yes'.

Keep reading as we explain how CCMA conciliation and arbitration differ so you can handle the process of dispute resolution effectively and lawfully.


Yes, there's a big difference between CCMA conciliation and arbitration


Conciliation is a process that takes place at the CCMA and at bargaining councils.

It's basically a negotiation process where you and your employee try to reach a settlement agreement to resolve the dispute.
A CCMA commissioner called a Conciliator facilitates this attempt to reach an 'out of court' settlement.

Arbitration is also a process that takes place at the CCMA and at bargaining councils. It happens when conciliation hasn't been successful.

An arbitrator (a type of junior judge) hears the merits of the case you and your employee present. He examines the fairness of the procedure you followed before dismissing your employee.

When it comes to CCMA conciliation and arbitration, neutral statutory officials conduct these processes. Don't confuse these officials with your Chairperson, who conducted your disciplinary procedures.

Here's our experts' advice for surviving CCMA conciliation and arbitration…


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Our labour experts have this to say about CCMA conciliation and arbitration

Preparation is key when it comes to CCMA conciliation and arbitration.

'There's no greater asset in the process of dispute resolution than proper and complete preparation. Never economise on preparation,' say the experts.

They recommend you checkout the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management as it contains steps you must take in the run-up to CCMA conciliation as well as a guideline on how to prepare for arbitration.

Knowing the difference between CCMA conciliation and arbitration will help ensure you handle the process of dispute resolution effectively and lawfully.
 


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