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I don’t think the “zero earnings” argument is relevant. The purpose of the path to arbitration in the CCMA for job applicants below the threshold is to provide a speedy remedy for vulnerable employees who claim discrimination at the entry point of employment. This necessarily implies that “earnings” for the job the applicant applied for would have been below the BCEA threshold. The value of the earnings for the job would have been stated and known before appointment. And it could be anything from zero up to the threshold. Without this remedy, “vulnerable” applicants would have to refer a discrimination dispute to the Labour Court which has general jurisdiction over discrimination disputes – a path which is beyond the reach of most vulnerable would-be employees.