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Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995)

Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration

Rules regulating the Practice and Procedure for Resolving Disputes

7. Conciliation



1) The Commission must give the parties at least 10 days' notice of a conciliation hearing unless otherwise agreed.


2) A conciliation may only be attended by the parties to a dispute, their representatives referred to in section 135(4) of the Act, and such other persons who, in the discretion of the Commissioner, are allowed to attend.


3) Conciliation proceedings are private and confidential and are conducted on a without prejudice basis so that no party may make reference to statements made at conciliation proceedings during any subsequent proceedings unless the parties have so agreed in writing.


4) Neither the commissioner dealing with the conciliation process nor anybody else attending the conciliation hearing may be called as a witness during any subsequent proceedings to give evidence about what transpired during the conciliation process.


5) The parties may during the conciliation process agree on the nature of the dispute, whereupon the conciliating commissioner may attempt to resolve that dispute and, should this not be possible, may issue a certificate of non-resolution in respect of that dispute even though the description of it may be different from the description of the dispute contained in the referral document.


6) In the event of disagreement regarding the nature of a dispute, the conciliating commissioner must issue a certificate of non-resolution in respect of the dispute as identified by the commissioner in the conciliation process.


7) If a referring party fails to attend a conciliation hearing at the scheduled time, the referral will be regarded as having been abandoned by the referring party. If the referring party later decides to pursue the matter, the referring party will have to refer the dispute again under the same case number and if necessary, apply for condonation explaining-
a) the degree of lateness;
b) the reasons for the lateness;
c) the referring party’s prospects of succeeding with the referral and obtaining the relief sought against the other party;
d) the balance of convenience, including any prejudice to the other party; and
e) why the referring party did not attend the initial conciliation hearing.