Discipline and Dismissal

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How to refer a dispute to the CCMA or a Bargaining Council

 André Claassen


We are often being asked questions, such as; I have been unfairly dismissed or unfairly been treated in the workplace where must I go?’  What must I do? Do I need an attorney or a labour consultant? etc.

Depending on the industry you are working in, you will have to contact the CCMA or the respective bargaining council if there is one in your industry. For clarity on whether it should be the CCMA or a bargaining council, you may approach the CCMA directly and/or phone the national call centre on 0861 16 16 16, visit them online on www.ccma.org.za and/or mailing them on .


Before referring a dispute to the CCMA, it is necessary that the public should know the following:


  • The CCMA does not charge money for referring a dispute;
  • You don’t need an attorney and/or labour consultant to refer a dispute to the CCMA for conciliation; 
  • By approaching a labour lawyer to complete the forms on your behalf will not necessarily improve your chances of succeeding, nor will it guarantee success of your case.


People who would like to register disputes for conciliation at the CCMA need to complete LRA Form 7.11. These forms can be obtained free of charge from the offices of the CCMA or downloaded from the CCMA website www.ccma.org.za.    


The LRA form 7.11 consists of only 5 pages and is user friendly and easy to complete. The form also provides instructions on what steps to follow when referring a dispute. Employees that need clarification on the completion of the form may contact the above mentioned offices.    


It is important to note that there is a time frame involved, and employees need to complete this form within 30 days from the date when the dispute arose. These 30 days are calendar days and include weekends and public holidays. It excludes the day the dispute arose but include the last day (30th day).


If an employee fails to comply in referring the dispute within the 30 days, he/she need to apply for a process called condonation. In applying for condonation the employee will have to provide:


  • Reasons for lateness: The reasons why the matter was not referred within the prescribed 30 days;
  • Prospects of success: The employee should explain with good reasons why he/she believes that the dismissal is unfair;
  • Prejudice: (Reasons why the employee that he/she will be prejudiced)
  • General: Any other general related information with regards to the dispute    


The Commissioner will consider the above reasons when making a decision on whether or not to grant condonation. After completion of the LRA form you need to make sure that you serve the notice to the other party. Proof that a copy of this form has been served on the other party must be supplied by attaching:


  • A copy of registered slip from the post office’
  • A copy of a signed receipt if hand delivered;
  • A signed statement confirming service by the person delivering the form
  • A copy of a fax confirmation form; or
  • Any other satisfactory proof of service

Probably the easiest of the above methods would be to simply fax it through to the employer. The receipt of the fax machine will serve as proof, and you then need to fax this receipt together with the LRA 7.11 form to your nearest CCMA office.


The CCMA does not deal with UIF registrations, such enquiries should be referred to the Department of Labour.


For more information contact






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