1 November 2008 by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Employment Alert

Employers ignore labour disputes at their peril

Recent research by Tokiso Dispute Settlement indicates a sharp increase in the number of disputes lodged at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (the CCMA) not being attended by employers. Default awards (an award handed down in the absence of a party to the proceedings) surged from an average of 22% over the past three years to 32%.

There may be a perception amongst employers that the dispute or employee will go away if ignored. Stated difficulties faced by employees in enforcing awards apparently contribute to this perception. These include backlogs in issuing of writs of execution and deposits requested by sheriffs before executing writs.

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