5 Good Reasons To Achieve Dispute Resolution Sooner

Dispute resolution should be achieved quickly, to forestall the risk of escalation and potential industrial action. While forums like the CCMA, Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court are meant for resolving disputes, by far the most painless and cost-effective method is to achieve agreement internally, before external influences can complicate matters.

Furthermore, escalating disputes can present further troublesome issues especially when you consider that:

  • The Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) deals with an average of 500 complaints per day. Despite delays, employers are required to attend and can be subject to a default award being made against them if they do not.
  • In many cases, the employer cannot be represented by a labour lawyer at tribunals (representation is often allowed only by consent). Where they are permitted representation, it is often far too expensive.
  • If a dispute is not resolved at the CCMA, it can then be referred to the Commission for Arbitration. Preparation for such hearings is akin to that of a court case and can therefore lead to considerable expense. The arbitrator’s decision is final with no further time or costs being spent on appeals.
  • Disputes that escalate can have wide reaching implications on the organisation, such as negative publicity, staff demoralisation or unnecessary legal fees and associated costs.
  • Disputes dealt with early on have not yet gathered emotional momentum: i.e. the parties still have a chance to save face and settle their grievances without ill will or future resentment. Alternatively, when disputes are allowed to escalate and fester, each side digs its heels in further and usually the matter becomes much more difficult to settle.

As seasoned labour consultants with vast experience of South African Labour Law, we are able to advise and mediate in workplace disputes at the very earliest stage. This means time and money is not wasted, while a conciliatory spirit can be maintained for all those involved through pre-emptive dispute resolution.

Why not talk to us today about preparing yourself for potential workplace disagreement. Knowing how to deal with differences as they arise can make all the difference, especially when you know we are on-hand to support you in achieving successful dispute resolution.