What to Do If Youre Unfairly Dismissed

What is the ccma?

The CCMA, or Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, is an independent, state-funded body with representatives from business, government and labour. This organisation was designed to resolve disputes, usually between employers and employees.

If you feel that you’ve been unfairly dismissed (fired) or discriminated against, you could make an unfair dismissal claim for compensation from your employer. This will not only include lost earnings to date, but also future earnings.

These are a few examples of the type of discrimination you could claim against at work:

  1. Pregnancy-related dismissals
  2. Health and performance-related dismissals
  3. Unfair redundancy selections
  4. Failing to follow procedure or policy.

Remember, you only have three months to file an unfair dismissal complaint so make sure that you do so ASAP.


What makes a dismissal unfair? First, it might be easier to answer what makes it fair. A person is fairly dismissed if:

  1. They aren’t meeting the demands of the job.
  2. They have reached retirement age.

A dismissal is unfair in a wide range of cases. It might not be possible to cover them all here, but these are a few examples:

  1. If the worker was involved in a strike or protest.
  2. If the employer can’t prove the worker’s misconduct.
  3. If the worker is, or intends to be, pregnant.

Once again, these are only a few examples. If you’re not sure whether you were unfairly dismissed, contact the CCMA for further advice.


Before you make a complaint to the CCMA, you need to make sure that you have followed the steps outlined by your employer to try to resolve the issue.

If your complaint is about an unfair dismissal, you need to make the complaint to the CCMA within 30 days after you have been dismissed, or within 30 days after the employer has upheld your dismissal.

If your complaint is about an unfair labour dispute, you need to make the complaint to the CCMA within 90 days after the event took place, or within 90 days of you becoming aware that the incident was unfair.

Remember, the 30- and 90-day count includes all weekends and public holidays.

To make a complaint with the CCMA, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Complete an LRA Form 7.11 (you can find this form at a CCMA office, the Department of Labour or the CCMA website (http://www.ccma.org.za). You can ask the local CCMA office for help in filling out this form.
  2. You must send a copy of the CCMA referral form to the other party – you can do this by fax or registered mail. You will need to make sure that you attach proof that youve done this to your CCMA referral form.
  • Proof that they have received this form could be a signed receipt form, but make sure that you include the time, place and the date of receipt if you hand deliver it.
  • A copy of the fax transmission is sufficient if you fax the document.
  • A copy of the registered mail slip is sufficient if you post the document by registered mail.
  1. When the CCMA has received the complaint, they’ll schedule a hearing date and let both parties know.

For more information about the CCMA, you can contact them on 0861 16 16 16 or visit http://www.ccma.org.za


Get In Touch

082 313 2061


gauteng, south africa

LifeGap teaches you what you need to know to be prepared for the “Real World”. The book is divided into three sections; Personal, Financial and Governmental.