At the beginning of this year, amendments to sections 150A-D to the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA) introduced an Advisory Arbitration Panel. The Minister of Labour has recently announced the list of commissioners and business assessors who can be appointed to sit on any Panel that is established by the Director of the CCMA. Collectively, the commissioners and business advisors are from different provinces across South Africa. The selected commissioners generally have more than 10 years of experience across multiple sectors. To view the list, please click here.
When will the Panel be appointed?
The Panel is to be appointed in the public interest in limited circumstances where a strike or lockout:
- is no longer conducive to collective bargaining and no resolution appears imminent;
- has, or may become, violent; or
- may cause a national crisis.
Once appointed, the Panel will facilitate an advisory arbitration between the parties and thereafter, issue an advisory arbitration award. The advisory arbitration is to be conducted in a manner that the chairperson considers appropriate in order to make an advisory award fairly, quickly (within seven days of the arbitration) and with minimum legal formalities.
Who will appoint the Panel?
The Panel must be established:
- if directed to do so by the Minister of Labour;
- if ordered to do so by the Labour Court;
- if the parties to the dispute agree to the establishment of a panel; or
- on successful application by a party to the dispute.
Who will sit on the Panel?
The Panel will consist of 3 members as follows:
- a senior commissioner (as the chairperson);
- an assessor appointed by the employer party; and
- an assessor appointed by the trade union.
If either party to the dispute fails or refuses to appoint an assessor, the Director of the CCMA will appoint the assessor(s).