Chairing enquiries

This is a process whereby an independent chairperson is appointed to determine an internal matter within an organisation.

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Guideline on disciplinary and incapacity hearings and appeals  under the auspices of Tokiso

  1. All Tokiso processes are booked online at
  2. Tokiso provides independent chairing of disciplinary, incapacity and appeal hearings.
  3. Tokiso panellists are bound by a Code of Professional Conduct that provides that their services are impartial. The panellist will conduct the hearings in a manner that is fair and, unless agreed otherwise, in accordance with –
    • the relevant code of good practice in the Labour Relations Act; and
    • any applicable collective agreement between the parties; and
    • any applicable company policy and procedure; and
    • any applicable provision in a contract of employment; and
    • any applicable agreement reached between the parties in relation to the process.
  4. The parties are required to submit any relevant collective agreement and/or policy and procedure and/or contractual provision to Tokiso prior to the hearing to ensure that the appointed panellist can familiarise themselves with the relevant provisions before the hearing.
  5. Panellists are required to ensure that hearings are informal, expeditiously and cost-effectively managed and conducted in a manner that is fair and in compliance with the applicable policies and procedures. Where policies and procedures do not provide a clear process, the panellist shall determine a fair, informal, efficient and cost-effective process to hear the matter. Parties are encouraged to commit to this as well and to avoid unnecessary delays and postponements.
  6. Tokiso recognises that it is the prerogative of the employer to discipline, and to choose the panellist that is to preside over the hearing. However, the panellist will remain independent of the employer. Tokiso encourages parties to agree to the use of Tokiso, and where possible, the panellist to be used. Where Tokiso is used regularly, Tokiso would welcome the opportunity to facilitate an agreement between the employer and union on how our services will be used and agree on a panel for their disputes. This will contribute to the credibility of discipline and performance management, ensure cooperation with the process and promote acceptance of the outcome.
  7. Tokiso manages the full administration of the hearing to ensure that the appointed chair remains independent from the parties. For this reason, all correspondence needs to be directed through Tokiso, including closing arguments.
  8. Where a party communicates with the panellist through Tokiso about the case before that panellist, Tokiso shall copy both/all parties on any response to maintain the independence and transparency of the process.
  9. In a disciplinary hearing, the panellist will make a finding on guilt (not a recommendation). Tokiso panellists will assume that the sanction outcome is a decision and not a recommendation unless the applicable policy and procedure provide otherwise, or the employer directs otherwise (in a manner that is compliant with the policy and procedure of the company). If it is a decision, the outcome is binding on the employer.
  10. The panellist must submit the outcome of the hearing to Tokiso within seven calendar days, unless agreed with the parties and informed Tokiso accordingly. Where a matter is ongoing, a progress report needs to be submitted to Tokiso after each sitting.
  11. Tokiso will submit the outcome simultaneously to the parties unless the applicable policy and procedure provide otherwise, or it is agreed that the outcome will be sent to the requisite HR representative to send to the parties, or Tokiso only has the contact details of the employer party.
  12. Where Tokiso only submits the outcome to an employer representative as per item 11 above, Tokiso reserves the right to inform the employee that the outcome has been submitted to the employer. It is incumbent on the employer to share it with the employee.
  13. Where the employer uses Tokiso for both the initial hearing and the appeal hearing, Tokiso will ensure that the respective panellists presiding over each of the processes are independent of each other and do not engage on the matter to ensure that the appeal is fair.
  14. Where a party requests a panellist to appear at the CCMA or another body to give evidence, this should only be entertained if the employee has challenged the independence of the chair or the procedure, and should the client successfully subpoena the panellist. Otherwise such a request must be declined on the basis that the panellist is independent from that party.

Panellists and clients are welcome to contact Tokiso for advice and guidance on the process at 011 853 6300 or Tokiso will not give advice on the substantive issues of a case due to our independence.