Review of arbitration award or ruling

CCMA awards are final and binding and cannot be appealed against, with two exceptions. Section 24(7) of the Labour Relations Act (the LRA), arbitration awards about interpretation of agency shop agreements, and, to some extent, section 10(8) of the Employment Equity Act, arbitration awards about unfair discrimination on grounds of sexual harassment or any discrimination dispute where the employee earns below the threshold amount stipulated in terms of section 3 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, allow for such appeals.

CCMA awards are subject to review by the Labour Court. This means that a party aggrieved by a decision made by a commissioner in an award may apply to the Labour Court in terms of section 145 of the LRA, to have it set aside on the basis of an alleged defect with that award.

The party who alleges a defect must file the application with the Labour Court within six weeks of the award being served. 

A defect means:

  • that the commissioner committed misconduct in relation to the duties of the commissioner as arbitrator;

  • that the commissioner committed a gross irregularity in the conduct of the arbitration proceedings;

  • that the commissioner exceeded his powers; and

  • that the award was improperly obtained.

An applicant may make use of the CCMA's pro-forma condonation affidavits when filing this application as these provide guidance to parties on what information should be included in an application. In addition, condonation may be applied for using the CCMA’s e-referral platform via #CCMAConnect.

You may approach the CCMA for assistance with filing a condonation application.