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Three things every employer must know about con-arb

by , 14 October 2014
Con-arb is a combination of conciliation and arbitration.

If you and your employee fail to settle a dispute during CCMA conciliation, the Commissioner will immediately move into arbitration. Basically, conciliation and arbitration take place one after the other on the same day.

There are three crucial things we believe every employer must know about con-arb. Read on to find out what they are so you'll know what this dispute resolution process entails.

You need to know these three things about con-arb

1. You can use con-arb in two instances

  • You can use it when neither party objects, for any dispute over which the CCMA has jurisdiction.


  • Con-arb is compulsory for a dismissal related to probation and any unfair labour practice relating to probation.


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2. You can object to con-arb

If you don't want to waste time preparing for arbitration at an early stage, you can object to con-arb. This is only if you believe there's a good chance of resolving the dispute in conciliation.

You can also object to con-arb when:

  • You want to share information with the conciliating Commissioner to help achieve a settlement but you don't want the same Commissioner to arbitrate your case; and
  • You want legal advice or representation for arbitration

Check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service for three important things you must do when you object to con-arb.

3. You can agree to con-arb in these three instances

  • Your case is simple and will be easy to present if you go straight to arbitration;


  • It's beneficial for you to get finality on the case, for example, if you need to hire a replacement; and


  • If one of your key witnesses won't be available later, but can give evidence on the day of con-arb.

We hope these points have made things clear when it comes to con-arb.

PS: There's so much more you need to know about con-arb. That's why we recommend you check out CCMA for Managers for more information.

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