The Labour Relations Amendment Bill attempts to provide a speedy solution to the execution arbitration of CCMA awards.
The current process of execution may be summarized as follows:
- On receipt of a favorable award application be made to the CCMA for the award to be certified,
- A copy of the above application must be served on the Respondent who is then afforded the opportunity to object.
- Once this process is complete application must be made to the Registrar of the Labour Court for a warrant of execution.
- Once a warrant is issued it is referred to the relevant sheriff together with a deposit to cover the costs of execution.
The proposal by the Labour Department as contained in the above mentioned Bill is as follows:
- An arbitration award certified by the Director of the Commission will bear the same status as a warrant of execution as issued by the relevant court e.g Magistrates Court or High Court;
- The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration will be empowered to assist parties to enforce an arbitration award that has been certified as set out above.
The proposed amendments give rise to the following concerns.
- Given the fact that the CCMA is already over budget and over burdened will they have the capacity to deal with the extra workload.
- The launching of review applications does not presently stay the execution process. If the process is streamlined will the Employers find it even more difficult to find redress in the Labour Court.
- Even though the amendments proposed may enable parties to receive a warrant of execution quicker, the said amendments may create a severe back log at the CCMA.