Often we receive phone calls from Companies who had decided to go to arbitration at the CCMA and to represent themselves. This arbitration, on some occasions, turned nasty and they have had to either reinstate the employee or pay damages. The Companies ask us to launch an Appeal as they are not satisfied with either the process or the outcome. We have, on many occasions, explained that there is no Appeal from the CCMA or from any arbitration. There is only the review process. A review process means that you have to show some sort of misdirection as opposed to what you would have to show on an Appeal. The test is vastly different and a lot more difficult. Normally the arbitration award is final and binding. However, many Companies do ask us to launch the review anyway to both buy time and to try their “luck”.
We often find an issue that does allow us to go on review but we must be very careful about doing this frivolously. In a recent case, NEHAWU obo Vermeulen vs. The Director General, Department of Labour, the Court said that the parties had to launch the review within the 6-week period after the award of the CCMA and they cannot be seen to be using this as merely a delaying tactic. In that particular case the review applicant had done very little to proceed with the review application and it was clear that the applicant was dilatory in procuring the record. (The party bringing the review has to have the transcript of the actual arbitration proceedings.) In that particular case the employee had her award of the CCMA made an order of the Labour Court and she proceeded with her claim.