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What powers does the Commissioner have at conciliation?

by , 02 October 2014
You know that CCMA conciliation is a dispute resolution process where the Commissioner meets with you and your employee to try find ways of settling the dispute.

But do you know the kind of power the Commissioner has?

If not, continue reading to find out what his powers are so you don't run the risk of being forced to settle or to comply with an inappropriate process.

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The powers of a Commissioner at conciliation are as follows

You need to be aware of the Commissioner's authority at conciliation to make sure you're not forced to settle or comply with an inappropriate process.
The Commissioner has the power to:
  • Make decisions about the procedure you must follow;
  • Determine the preliminary points;
  • Direct the way in which the conciliation process proceeds;
  • Decide how he wishes to listen to each party's side of the story. Either by individual and/or separate meetings with the parties; and
  • Make recommendations regarding settlement.
Basically, no formal evidence is led at conciliation and the Commissioner can't make decisions. This is just a meeting where you negotiate to try and settle the dispute.
In addition, no one can use anything you say in conciliation in subsequent proceedings in the dispute.
Remember, if you fail to settle the matter at conciliation, the case can be referred to:
  • Arbitration, if it must be determined by the CCMA; or
  • The Labour Court, if it can't be decided by the CCMA.

Knowing about the powers of the Commissioner at conciliation will help ensure you enforce your rights and aren't forced to settle or comply with an inappropriate process.
If you need more information on CCMA conciliation, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

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