Article contributed by Your Legal Advisor

What is workplace mediation?

Mediation in the workplace is a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that can be used in order to resolve the conflict within workplaces and help find a solution. Mediation is often used within employment tribunal claims to resolve workplace conflict without the need to go through court proceedings.

Mediation is used to repair workplace relationships during times of conflict or disagreement. A mediator is a neutral third party who is appointed to assist with conflict resolution; they take the points of view of all parties into consideration and help both parties come to reach an agreement.

The use of dispute mediation offers in the workplace is voluntary and confidential; the agreement is not legally binding, however, unless the parties involved intend it to be.

Benefits of using mediation at work

Using ADR for mediating conflict in the workplace can have a number of benefits. Mediation is a cost effective and timely method of handling all types of disputes that can arise at work. Parties typically find that using mediation is less intense than proceeding to litigation through an employment dispute case as mediation is more informal compared to other formal processes and more flexible.

Another benefit of using alternative dispute resolution in the workplace is that it is a confidential process. Mediation at work can help to preserve relationships between colleagues as it is carried out on a ‘without prejudice’ basis. This means that anything that is discussed during mediation meetings cannot be brought up if the dispute does go to Court.

Alternative dispute resolution methods are not compulsory; however, it is usually encouraged by the Court and costs sanctions may be applied is some form or ADR is not considered or if a party refuses to engage in ADR before proceeding to a Court or an Employment Tribunal hearing.

Mediation at work: The process

The process of workplace dispute mediation usually requires a joint meeting between all parties involved. In these meetings, the parties will be given the opportunity to put their points forward so that an agreement between the parties can be made. These meetings are held by the mediator, who will often write up the agreement made between the parties involved. A human resources representative or a line manager may also be required to attend the mediation meeting.

Types of workplace disputes

Mediation can work for a variety of workplace disputes. The most common types of disputes that mediators deal with include:

·        Harassment disputes or bullying

·        Communication issues

·        Unfair dismissal disputes

·        Personality clashes

·        Disputes regarding discrimination in the workplace

·        Work relationship breakdowns

·        Pay disputes

·        Contract disputes

How can Your Legal Advisor assist?

Our experienced mediators come from legal backgrounds, including employment law. All of our workplace dispute resolution mediators are fully trained and participate in continuous professional development.

We are able to assist in a range of employment disputes, as well as a variety of other types of disagreements, including commercial contracts, personal injury claims, employment disputes, clinical negligence claims and probate.

We only work with the best legal professionals in the industry to ensure you get matched with the right expert for your case. We have over 30 years of combined experience working in the legal market, so we are well equipped to help you find the right expert for your case.

If you wish to speak to one of the team to find out more about our civil mediation services, then please contact us at info@yourlegaladvisor.co.uk or by telephone on 01204263049.

The original article can be found on the YLA website.