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

Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration

Code of Conduct for Commissioners

5. Hearing Conduct

 

 

General

 

5.1 Commissioners should conduct proceedings fairly, diligently and in an even-handed manner.

 

5.2 Commissioners should have no casual contact with any of the parties or their representatives white handling a matter without the presence or consent of the other, This does not preclude exchanges of greetings or conversation unrelated to the matter with one of the parties prior to the matter commencing, during an adjournment, or at its completion.

 

5.3 Commissioners should be patient and courteous to the parties and their representatives or witnesses and should encourage similar behaviour by ail participants in the proceedings.

 

5.4 Commissioners must ensure that the proceedings of an arbitration are recorded in accordance with the policy of the Commission.

 

5.5 In determining whether to conduct a hearing in the absence of a party, an arbitrator must consider the relevant legal, contractual and other pertinent circumstances.

 

5.6 A commissioner must be satisfied before proceeding in the absence of a party that the party refusing or failing to attend the hearing has been given adequate notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing in accordance with the relevant rule or statutory provision.

 

5.7 In an event of more than one commissioner acting as either a conciliator, mediator or arbitrator, commissioners should afford each other a full opportunity to participate in the proceedings.

 

5.8 Commissioners may not delegate their duty to intervene in any matter to any other person without prior notice to, and with the consent of, the CCMA.

 

Basis of conciliation proceedings

 

5.9 Commissioners acting as conciliators or mediators should ensure that all parties are aware of the confidentiality of the proceedings and that the proceedings will take place on a "without prejudice" basis.

 

5.10 Commissioners may not disclose the contents of conciliation or mediation proceedings, unless the parties consent to the disclosure or it is ordered by a court of law.

 

Confidentiality

 

5.11 Information disclosed to commissioners in confidence by a party during the course of conciliation or mediation should be kept by commissioners in the strictest confidence and should not be disclosed to the other party or to third parties, unless consent is obtained for such disclosure.

 

Conciliation by commissioners acting as arbitrators

 

5.12 Commissioners acting as arbitrators may suggest to the parties that they should conciliate if they are of the view that conciliation is appropriate. Commissioners should not pursue the matter if the parties do not agree or if conciliation is attempted and does not lead to a resolution of the matter.

 

Avoidance of delays

 

5.13 Commissioners have a duty to plan their work schedules in a manner that ensures that commitments to the CCMA are fulfilled timeously.

 

5.14 Commissioners should co-operate with the parties and the CCMA to avoid delays.

 

5.15 On completion of a hearing, commissioner must adhere to the time limits for issuing an award.

 

Compliance with time limits and standard operating procedures

 

5.16 Commissioners must comply with all statutory time limits applicable to them, and with all CCMA policies and standard operating procedures in place from time to time. This includes, without limitation, policies and procedures relating to the postponement of matters, adjournments, extensions for the submission of closing argument, and the time period for the submission of awards including any request for extension of that period.