Is conciliation at the CCMA a pre-requisite to institute action in the Labour Court?

The Labour Court (Pillay v Automa Multi Styrene (Pty) Ltd ) recently confirmed that one cannot approach that Court without having first attempted conciliation.

Conciliation is the first regulated step provided for parties to settle a matter. It often limits legal costs and provides a conciliatory platform for parties to resolve their issues. Only if the conciliation fails may the matter be referred to the Labour Court or arbitration at the CCMA – depending on the nature of the dispute.

Failure to attempt conciliation first may form the basis for a finding that the referral to the Labour Court was premature, resulting in a dismissal of the entire case.

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