Provided by the Commission for conciliation, mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)


An employee must refer the dispute to the CCMA within 30 days. If the employee fails to do this within that time period, he is required to make application to the Commission to condone the reason that he failed to refer his case timeously. This application should preferably be dealt with prior to the conciliation taking place as it is a jurisdictional fact that needs to be dealt with. However, the LRA states that the Commission can condone as late referral at any time, so if it has not been dealt with at the pre-conciliation phase, it should be dealt with as soon as everyone realises that it needs to be considered. You calculate the 30 days by excluding the first day and including the last day. All days are counted which means weekends and public holidays are included.


The Commissioner considers the following when deciding whether or not to grant condonation:

  • The degree of lateness of the referral
  • The reason for the lateness
  • The prospects of success on the merits
  • The prejudice to both parties which includes the importance of the matter to each party 
  • The applicant may make use of the CCMA's pro forma affidavits when applying for condonation.



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