Daniel* was relieved when he won his case against his employer at the CCMA. The court ordered Daniel’s former employer to pay him out R18 900, but it’s been 4 months now since the court order and Daniel hasn’t seen a cent. Is there a way he can ‘force’ his employer to pay up? What happens if his employer just refuses?
Scorpion Legal Protection’s advice
If the CCMA has made a monetary award in your favour, you should have the award certified at the CCMA, and then you can proceed with getting the award enforced via a sheriff. The Labour Guide tells us the following: “An arbitration award is final and binding – although it is not an order of the Labour Court, it may be enforced (subject to certain procedures being complied with) as if it were an order of the Labour Court.”
In terms of section 143(3) of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), an award can only be enforced (as if it were an order of the Labour Court) when it has been certified by the CCMA.
So when an employer refuses to voluntarily comply with the award, the employee must go back to the CCMA and complete a form LRA 7.18 (Application to Certify CCMA Award and Writ of Execution). A copy of the award must be attached to the Form LRA 7.18. There are no time limitations on this process, which means employers who have arbitration awards against them cannot avoid complying with the awards by relying on the Prescription Act and hoping their ‘debt’ to employees will just fall away.
Tips• If the employer won’t comply with the CCMA award, don’t give up – you can take it back to the CCMA for the next step in getting them to comply• The only way to get a CCMA award enforced is through a sheriff of the court
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* This is only basic advice and cannot be relied on solely. Names have been changed to protect identity.
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