18 March 2020 by Employment Alert

CCMA’s Response to COVID-19

On 17 March 2020, the CCMA Director issued an urgent directive in response to COVID-19.

The details of the directive are the following:

Contact processes – These include all fact-to-face interactions such as conciliations and arbitrations where the parties are required to be physically present. The directive has postponed such processes. Please note that this is limited to matters set down between    18 March 2020 up to and including 14 April 2020.

Discretionary functions – These include conferences and training. These events are postponed unless otherwise advised. However, the CCMA may approve that large scale dismissals processes, Inquiry by Arbitrator processes and matters identified to be of public interest be set down and proceed in venues other than the CCMA offices, subject to adequate health and safety conditions and written agreement by the parties, Commissioner and CCMA.

Exceptional circumstances – The pre-conciliation process is not postponed since it is conducted telephonically. Further, conciliations which are conducted by telephone on agreement between the parties, the Commissioner and the CCMA are allowed. The directive empower Commissioners to try and resolve disputes telephonically or using approved online methods.

This directive does not prevent parties from filing referrals or documents and contacting the CCMA via email, fax and telephone. It is clear that the applicable timeframes for processes will be enforced. The directive will apply with effect from 18 March 2020 until 14 April 2020.

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