Mediation is a voluntary, confidential and non-confrontational means of settling disputes within the workplace. It involves an independent, impartial person helping two or more individuals or groups reach a solution that's acceptable to everyone. The aim of workplace mediation is to restore and maintain the employment relationship wherever possible.
The mediator can be someone from outside the organisation or someone within the organisation, who’s had mediation training. The mediator will talk to both sides separately or together or both.
Mediators do not make decisions or find solutions. However, they help the parties themselves to do so, by a process of:
- asking questions that help to uncover underlying problems
- assisting the parties to understand the issues and
- helping the parties to clarify the options for resolving their difference or dispute.
Many kinds of dispute can be mediated if the people involved want to find a way forward. Mediation can be used at any stage of a dispute, however, it is most effective if used early on. It can also be written into the formal grievance procedure as a means of bringing an early resolution to a complaint.
Agreements reached through mediation are not legally binding or enforceable, unless the parties expressly agree to this. Legal advice should be taken before entering into any legally binding agreement.
Contact us for more information on mediation.