CCMAMail & Guardian reports that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has closed its doors amid fears about the coronavirus outbreak.  

On Tuesday, the statutory body mandated to deal with workplace disputes released an urgent directive postponing all matters set down to be heard between 18 March and 14 April.  The directive reads:  “No persons will be allowed to walk into any of the CCMA offices for the purposes of enquiries and serving/delivering any processes or documents.  The CCMA will only accept referrals received through other non-contact methods such as email or fax, as contained in rule seven of the CCMA Rules.  Users are encouraged to use these alternative methods of serving.”  The CCMA directive limits all dispute resolution to non-contact procedures.  This means that pre-conciliations will continue because they are conducted over telephone and conciliations may be conducted telephonically if “agreed to by Parties, [the] CCMA and [the] commissioner.”  Commissioners may attempt to resolve disputes using telephonic or online methods prescribed and approved by the CCMA.  In “large-scale dismissals processes … inquiry by arbitrator processes … and identified matters of public interest, the CCMA may approve that these matters be set down in venues other than the CCMA offices, subject to … strict conditions”.


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