FAIR AND UNFAIR DISMISSALS
FAIR AND UNFAIR DISMISSALS:
REVIEW OF AN ARBITRATION AWARD
The previous articles, in our fair and unfair dismissals series, had addressed referring a dispute to the CCMA as well as the steps following such a referral.
In continuation thereof, this article will focus on the process post receipt of an arbitration award.
CCMA awards are binding and may only be reviewed as more fully set out in the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995, (“the LRA”). CCMA awards are reviewed by the Labour Court, on application by the aggrieved party, within six weeks of the award being announced.
The basis of a review application rests on an alleged defect by the arbitrator. For the purposes of a review, defect has the following meaning:
the commissioner committed misconduct in relation to his duties as an arbitrator;
the commissioner committed a gross irregularity in the arbitration proceedings;
the commissioner exceeded his powers; and
the award was improperly obtained.
Should an aggrieved party wish to institute review proceedings, the reasons for the review as well as the reasons for reliance on any of the above-mentioned defects, would need to be pleaded to the Court in a formal application.
Parties should note that instituting review proceedings does not suspend the operation of an arbitration award, unless an application to stay the award is made pending the outcome of the review application.