The Powers Of CCMA Commissioners

2nd August 2021

The Powers Of CCMA Commissioners

The Labour Relations Act (LRA) gives CCMA commissioners a number of powers including the power, in respect of any dispute the commissioner is attempting to resolve, to:

Specifically, amongst the most important and most frequently used powers that CCMA commissioners have are to decide whether a dismissal is fair or not. In deciding whether a dismissal is fair the commissioner has the power to decide whether a dismissal for misconduct was the appropriate sanction in terms of item 7(b)(4) of Schedule 8 of the LRA. This means that, even where the employer proves conclusively that the employee was guilty of the misconduct, the commissioner still has the power to decide whether the dismissal was a fitting punishment or whether some other corrective action was appropriate.

CCMA arbitrators are not prohibited from overturning dismissals. Rather, commissioners are prevented from overturning dismissals merely because, in their opinion, another sanction could have been more fair. Instead, if the arbitrator is going to find that dismissal was inappropriate he/she will have to show that there was no objectively rational basis for the sanction of dismissal.

While employers are taking comfort from this legal point they should not interpret it to mean that they can now impose the dismissal sanction as they please. There still has to be a sound reason to justify the dismissal decision as well as a proper disciplinary procedure.

To book for our 17 September webinar on WINNING AT THE CCMA IN THE COVID ENVIRONMENT please contact Ronni on or 0845217492.

Submitted by lvan lsraelstam, Chief Executive of Labour Law Management Consulting. He may be contacted on (011)888-7944 or 0828522973 or on e-mail address: