Labour: CCMA ordered to reconsider bar on lawyers
The CCMA has been ordered to reconsider the general bar on lawyers in hearings dealing with most dismissal cases after the North Gauteng High Court found the rule was unconstitutional, notes a report in The Herald. The CCMA has 36 months to formulate a new rule. Up to now, lawyers have been barred from dismissal hearings before the CCMA that dealt with employee misconduct or inability to do their jobs, notes the report. In his judgment, Judge Neil Tuchten said the CCMA had explained that the reasons for the exclusion of lawyers was inherent in the way the commission operated as it allowed for swift adjudication with a minimum of legal formalities. I cannot agree that the dismissal of an employee is never a serious matter for the employee, Tuchten said. He dismissed an argument by representatives of the CCMA that the presence of lawyers led to obfuscation, unnecessary complication of issues and time wasting. He also rejected the argument that allowing lawyers to represent clients at the dismissal hearings would contribute substantially to the CCMAs workload.
Full report in The Herald (subscription needed)