What is the time frame to refer arbitration to the CCMA?

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by ufiling

In South Africa, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) is an independent statutory body that resolves labor disputes through conciliation, mediation, and arbitration. The time frame for referring a dispute to arbitration at the CCMA can vary depending on the circumstances and the specific rules governing the process.

In general, the process begins with conciliation, where the CCMA attempts to facilitate a settlement between the parties involved. If conciliation fails and the dispute remains unresolved, the next step is arbitration. The time frame for referring a dispute to arbitration usually starts after conciliation has been unsuccessful.

According to the CCMA rules, a party must refer a dispute to arbitration within 90 days of the date on which the certificate of outcome (issued by the CCMA after conciliation) is issued. This means that if the parties are unable to reach a settlement during conciliation, the claimant has 90 days from the date of receiving the certificate of outcome to refer the dispute to arbitration. Failure to meet this time frame may result in the claim being time-barred.

It’s important to note that the 90-day time frame can be extended by mutual agreement between the parties or by the CCMA itself under exceptional circumstances. If the claimant fails to refer the dispute to arbitration within the prescribed time frame, they may have to seek condonation from the CCMA, providing valid reasons for the delay. The CCMA will then consider whether to grant an extension or not.

Overall, the time frame to refer a dispute to arbitration at the CCMA is 90 days from the date of the certificate of outcome. However, this time frame can be extended by agreement or in exceptional circumstances. It’s crucial for parties involved in a labor dispute to be aware of these time limits and take timely action to protect their rights and ensure a fair resolution to their dispute.

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