Mediation is a voluntary process led by an impartial third party to resolve conflict. Conflict can occur in any employment relationship and is best dealt with early at source. If left unchecked, it can fester and escalate, potentially leading to grievance and discipline procedures or employment tribunals. Mediation avoids these more formal and costlier routes by guiding participants towards reaching mutual acceptable solutions.
Mediation is used to resolve disagreements around workplace relationships rather than other disputes, such as pay, or issues related to dismissal or conduct. You can use mediation to resolve bullying and harassment. communication problems. Rather than letting the conflict escalate engaging a mediator to facilitate talks will shorten the time and stress that can be caused to both parties including the business.
Mediation can be used in many ways relating to the workplace. For example, where there has been:
- A breakdown in a working relationship
- An accusation of bullying/harassment/discrimination that remains unresolved.
- A desire to rebuild a working relationship.
- An employment tribunal application raised, whether or not the employment has ended
Mediation can be used when a conflict is in its infancy and no formal complaints have been made, or at any time up to and after a formal Employment Tribunal outcome. Where no formal complaint has been lodged, mediation can help those involved to resolve their differences without the stress and time of a formal procedure. Where a formal procedure has begun, mediation can work within formal timescales and in many instances will help to create a resolution that brings the formal procedure to an early close.
What are the Advantages of Mediation?
- Mediation is a voluntary process
- Mediation is private and confidential
- Mediation is both timely and convenient
- Mediation is procedural assistance of a neutral third party
- Mediation has a high rate of compliance
- Mediation helps preserve ongoing relationships.