Part two of dealing with the CCMA, including CCMA conciliation procedures.
2. CCMA Conciliation Stage Procedures ¡V reaching settlement
* The Commissioner will encourage you to settle
* You need to consider that if you lose at the arbitration stage, that the Commissioner will then decide on an appropriate amount, that is: if the reason to dismiss is accepted (and it is unlikely that the Commissioner would decide on a re-instatement and overthrow the dismissal unless what you have done is very unacceptable), but the procedure wasn¡¦t considered to be fair, you might end up paying the salary equivalent of from the date of dismissal until the end of the arbitration, which might be a few months; it is possible that you could end up paying up to a years salary.
* The CCMA Commissioner will talk to you separately from the ex-employee, and then meet with the ex-employee.
* In this phase make sure that the Commissioner knows the length of service and whether there has been continuing problems, and for short service whether there have been similar problems, either during the probation period, or after the probation period.
* Once separate meetings have been held, the CCMA Commissioner will continue to meet separately, and if it is going well, may also call you and the ex-employee together again to reach final settlement.
If you do reach a settlement, the CCMA Commissioner will record all the settlement details, and ask both parties to sign acceptance, and each party will be given a copy of the document. (If you agree to make a payment make sure that you allow yourself enough time to process the payment through your bookkeeper or accountant.)
* At this stage make sure you have the correct salary details for calculation of exact settlement amounts.
* Make sure that the settlement includes details of what you have to pay, whether you will deduct tax from the amount, how you will pay it: that is by cheque or electronically into a bank account. If you have paid the salary into a bank account for the ex-employee, what were the bank details, as the employee might not have thought of bringing this along.
* If there were any outstanding monies owed by the employee and you did not have sufficient in leave pay and pay from which to deduct the amount, raise this issue and agree on whether this will be deducted from the settlement amount.
* If it is by cheque, will the ex-employee collect it, or must you post it.
* It is also a good idea to ask for a confidentiality clause to be put in, that is neither you nor the ex-employee will discuss what took place at the CCMA with anyone else.
Alternatively, the CCMA Commissioner will indicate that settlement is unlikely and will question you on whether you are ready to proceed with arbitration.
By this stage, you will know whether there is a possibility of settling or not and that you need to call your witnesses to come in.
Alternatively, if there is not enough time to proceed to the arbitration, the CCMA Commissioner will re-schedule and agree with you and the ex-employee.