DISPUTE PROCEDURES AND PATH IN TERMS OF
THE LABOUR RELATIONS ACT
By Johanette Rheeder
For the purpose of this workshop, we will be looking at only the relevant dispute procedures in the
CCMA, being conciliation, arbitration, pre-dismissal arbitration in terms of section 188A and con/arb in
terms of section 191(5)A.
Referral of disputes in terms of LRA 7.11
Any dispute that a party wishes to refer to the Commission must be referred by way of LRA form 7.11.
This is the starting point of any dispute resolution mechanism as is envisaged by the Act.
Form 7.11 has a dual purpose. It can be used for referring any right or interest dispute to the CCMA for
conciliation. It is also used for referring disputes which can be referred in terms of section 191(5)A to
The form must be completed by the party declaring the dispute, or their representative. In terms of the
rules of the CCMA, a party must refer a dispute to the Commission for conciliation by delivering a
completed LRA Form 7.11. The referring party must sign the referral document in accordance with rule
4, attach to the referral document written proof in accordance with rule 6 that the document was
served on the other party to the dispute and if the referral document is filed out of time, attach an
application for condonation in accordance with rule 9.
The question as to who the referring party is has been the subject of various Labour and Labour Appeal
In ABC Telesales v