Can I ask the CCMA to postpone conciliation?

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 30 Sep. 2014

Tags: ccma, ccma conciliation, conciliation

Let’s say, you have a dispute with your employee and he takes you to the CCMA.

The CCMA sets the matter down for conciliation so you and your employee can settle the dispute and avoid going to arbitration or the Labour Court.

Now the problem is, due to your other commitments, you can’t honour the date for conciliation. And you’re now wondering if the CCMA can postpone conciliation.

Keep reading to find out whether or not it’s possible to ask the CCMA to postpone conciliation so you’ll comply with labour law.

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Sadly, you can’t postpone CCMA conciliation

According to the report, CCMA for Managers, the CCMA generally doesn’t grant postponements of conciliation proceedings. Its rules provide for requests for postponements of arbitration proceedings but don’t have a provision for the postponement of any conciliation proceedings.

This means it’s extremely unlikely the CCMA will grant a postponement of conciliation.
But, it’s not all doom and gloom.

Here’s what to do if you can’t attend conciliation on the scheduled date

When it comes to CCMA conciliation, the rule is the Commissioner must try to resolve the dispute within 30 days of the date the CCMA received the referral form.

So, if you can’t attend conciliation on the scheduled day, see if you can agree with the other party to extend the 30-day period so the CCMA doesn’t issue a certificate of outcome on the scheduled date.

If you can show the CCMA that you’ve agreed to extend the 30-day period, you can ask the CCMA to set the matter down for conciliation at the end of the agreed period. This has the same effect as postponing conciliation proceedings – the only difference is you must first get the other party to agree to the extension.

If you can’t do that, the conciliation will proceed without you if you don’t attend and the CCMA will issue a certificate of outcome to show it hasn’t resolved the dispute in your absence.

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