Despite the fact that the CCMA rules have been amended in recent times, we again find ourselves in the situation where an amendment was gazetted on 21 February 2020. The amendments will be effective as of 1 March 2020 and this article is aimed at highlighting changes that have occurred.
The amendments themselves are not earth shattering, but this brief article is aimed at highlighting those of relevance.
One of the first amendments is that the CCMA has amended the listing of the fax numbers and email addresses where service must take place. The schedule strictly gives numbers to be utilised and by implication service to any other address/number will not be acceptable. It is important that you check that the details you have on system are updated and that you are not serving documents on old addresses.
There are a number of minor grammatical and numbering changes which for purposes of this article we will not include but have attached the amended rules with the relevant amendments highlighted.
A big change sees the amendment of representation before the Commission to include an officer bearer or official as defining the act of a registered federation of trade unions or registered federation of employers’ organisation.
The rules then are also amended to expand upon the application for enforcement of written undertakings and/or compliance order and prescribe various documentations to be attached and the process to be followed in connection therewith. Rule 31B(2) sees the insertion of documentation required and the referencing to the document being signed and commissioned by the referring party and served on all parties. There is also a change from applicant to referring party and with the deletion there are significant numbering changes in terms of this section.
There is also an expansion of the service of a subpoena and how this needs to take place captured in Rule 37(5). There are also grammatical changes with regards to the section dealing with a subpoena being issued and a shift into a subsection of the introductory paragraph.
An amendment to note is the insertion of rule 40(3) which indicates that an arbitration award includes an award of costs in terms of section 138(10), a taxed bill of costs in respect of an award of costs and an arbitration fee charged in terms of section 140(2).
Hopefully these type of costs awards should they be applied will prevent frivolous and vexatious referrals to the CCMA.
Finally there is also a definition of taxing officer which means any employee of the Commission appointed by the Director in terms of rule 39.
Overall there are no amendments of major consequence which negatively impact employers. As a practitioner, it is strongly recommended that you have a copy of your rules with you when you attend to a matter at the CCMA as well as in preparation for your attendance.
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