What is Employment Mediation?
Employment mediation is a popular type of alternative dispute resolution for workplace issues. When used effectively, the employment mediation process can help create an open dialogue between parties where they can air grievances and successfully resolve issues together, with the aid of an impartial mediator.
Let’s take a look at some common questions about employment mediation:
Q: What is Employment Mediation?
Employment mediation is a voluntary process in which a professional mediator helps two or more disputing parties in a workplace resolve their problems through constructive discussions. The talks encourage openness and are confidential, allowing feelings, options and solutions to be discussed freely, all whilst being facilitated by a neutral and objective mediator.
Q: When would you use Employment Mediation?
Employment mediation can be used to help settle a range of work-related issues at any level of an organisation’s hierarchy. The process should be used after informal talks have been attempted but before relationships become embittered and potentially unsalvageable. Examples of workplace issues which could benefit from mediation discussions include:
- Relationship breakdowns
- Communication issues
- Perceived harassment or bullying
- Issues resulting from personality clashes
- Pay or contractual disputes
- Unfair dismissal
Q: What can you expect at Employment Mediation?
You can expect an employment mediation session to be an open environment where you can express your feelings and issues regarding a workplace problem. The session will be kept in order by an impartial, independent professional mediator who will guide the discussions and try to help you come to a mutually beneficial solution. Mediation is entirely voluntary and relies upon both/all parties being open to discussions and compromise.
Q: Why Mediate instead of Litigate?
Mediation is a positive way to overcome workplace problems, encouraging understanding, proactivity and compromise to resolve issues. If you reach a resolution, it will be one that you have contributed and agreed to, rather than one which is forced upon you by a court. Litigation is sometimes the right course of action, but should be used as a last resort if discussions haven’t been successful. Litigation can be a long and difficult process which often comes with high costs too, both financial and emotional.
Q: What outcomes can you expect from Employment Mediation?
In the best case scenario, all parties will come to a mutually agreed solution to the problem which has been brought forth which will allow working relationships to be restored. Everyone will have had a chance to be heard and there will be an improved understanding between parties going forward. The outcomes of employment mediation do, however, greatly depend on the openness and willing of the parties involved to reach a solution.
Generally, employment mediation aims to improve or restore working relationships and, as a result, improve employee satisfaction and the effectiveness of an organisation.
Q: What are the main advantages of Employment Mediation?
Employment mediation has many benefits, including:
- Allows issues to be talked through freely, thoroughly and constructively
- Gain an impartial, objective and independent mediator to facilitate discussions
- Comes to a mutually beneficial resolution
- Empowers both parties to create an agreeable solution themselves
- Avoids costs and potential damage for all parties that can come with legal action