ABOUT WORKPLACE MEDIATION
In workplace mediation, the mediator gives each individual an opportunity to give their side of the story, defuses any hostility that may exist, identifies the important issues, and explores all options, with a view to formulating a solution that is satisfactory to all parties in the dispute
Workplace Grievances, include;
- Unfair Dismissal/Constructive dismissal- Bullying/Harassment in the workplace
- Negotiating reduced working hours, pay rates, redundancy with employees
- Inter-personal conflict, which impacts on working relationships.
- Issues arising from a grievance and disciplinary procedure
- Issues arising from the incorrect interpretation of employment laws and regulations
- Industrial relations issues
What is Workplace Mediation?
Workplace mediation is a confidential service that gives employees and employers, in dispute with each other, an opportunity to work with a mediator to find a mutually agreed solution to the problem.
- It is a voluntary process
- It is confidential, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the parties
- The aim is to come to a mutually agreed workable solution
What are the benefits?
- Workplace mediation succeeds in 80% of cases
- It is fast and cost effective; sessions can be scheduled quickly
- The mediator is impartial
- The process is non-adversarial
- Workplace mediation allows the problems to be resolved informally, ensuring all sides are heard in the process.
- Any mutually agreed solution is likely to last
How does it work?
Contact with the mediator is usually made by a representative of the organization or by an individual involved in the dispute. The mediator first speaks to each of the parties to the dispute by phone to explain the process and to answer any questions. The mediator then meets the parties separately, informed consent is given by signing the Mediation Agreement, and the ground rules are set out. The aim of the process is to allow each person involved in the dispute the opportunity to be heard and to engage with any other relevant party to reach a workable solution. The process is flexible and may involve joint meetings or meetings with the mediator alone. The mediator will assist the parties to look for practical solutions through structured negotiations. Mediation is an alternative to the adversarial litigation route which often incurs significant costs.
The first joint session usually lasts between two and four hours. Firstly the nature and purpose of mediation is fully explained, the mediator will then encourage the Party/Parties to speak openly, with equal time given to all. The Mediator will endeavour to identify all the relevant issues, by investigating the perspective of the Party/Parties. During the next sessions (usually no more than 2 further sessions should be required, each subsequent session lasting approximately an hour) the Mediator will help the parties to explore options and alternatives and help them to negotiate and make decisions.
When the Parties settle a dispute at mediation, their joint decisions will usually be recorded in a written Agreement drafted by the Mediator, and signed by the parties.