It’s rare for a winning party to win costs in a CCMA or Bargaining Council arbitration case. Section 138(10) of the Labour Relations Act makes limited provision for costs to be awarded in favour of a party to a hearing.
Costs may be awarded against a party and/or their representative in the event that either or both act frivolously (“manifestly futile”) and/or vexatiously (manifestly groundless or utterly hopeless in foundation”), which is defined as (1) proceeding with or defending a case without merit and (2) in its conduct during the proceedings. In short, if you initiate an arbitration case with a little or no merits and/or behave badly during the arbitration hearing, a claim for costs may validly be made.


Conclusion of Arbitration Costs Awards:

In practice, however, costs awards, especially against applicants, who are typically employees, are rarely made. That’s not to say, on the other hand, that parties’ costs awards are never made.


For more information on labour law advice or services. Please feel free to contact us at Cape Labour Consultants and we will gladly assist you. Cape Labour & Industrial Consultants is a Cape Town-based providing Labour Law (Industrial Relations) and advice to employers and employees across all market segments and industries since 1987.

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