When is Workplace Mediation Appropriate?
There is no quick or definitive answer to this, as this will depend on several aspects. There are however, very few situations, when a Workplace Mediation, will be automatically not appropriate.
Whether or not Workplace Mediation is appropriate, is the right question to ask whether you are an Employer, HR or an Employee, who is aware of a Workplace dispute.
Workplace Mediation, is a very effective way of resolving a dispute, within the workplace. There are some overriding principles which apply to Workplace Mediation, here are a few.
Outstanding issues of fact
It will be rarely appropriate to Mediate, if there are outstanding issues of fact, which an individual/ individuals wish to be determined. These outstanding facts may relate to safety, criminality, an employers duties (including to other employees). These will need to be resolved conclusively before a Mediation can be considered.
It is not possible, for a Mediator to make a decision on fact as they are neither a Judge, nor Arbitrator, as it is their role to be impartial.
The Mediation process, is based upon the participants, attending, voluntarily. If there is any question of compulsion or coercion, a Mediator will determine the Mediation process as being unsuitable/inappropriate.
It would be inappropriate to mediate where an employee is asked to contribute to the cost of the process. The fees for a workplace Mediation are the responsibility of the employer.
It is a fundamental requirement for every party, involved in the Mediation process, to be “willing”, to participate within the process. In order for a person to be willing to engage within the process, it is necessary for there to be a clear understanding about what a Mediator can and cannot do and what the process entails.
A comprehensive Assessment will be carried out, to enable this to be discussed, clarified and explored prior to the Workplace Mediation taking place. If a party is not willing or withdraws their consent to Workplace Mediation, the process will not progress.
Existing conflict of interest
If a conflict exists between the Mediator and any party, Workplace Mediation will not be appropriate. There must be impartiality at all times.
If the Mediation process cannot provide a safe environment for the participants, it would be inappropriate to Mediate.
Suitable accommodation to meet
If the Mediator cannot secure suitable accommodation to enable the parties to speak with them privately and/or ensure the joint meetings remain confidential, Workplace Mediation will be unsuitable and inappropriate.
Interference with the process
If an employer, HR professional or other party makes demands on the Mediator which are inconsistent or compromises the terms of the Agreement to Mediate, it would be inappropriate to commence or continue with the process. Please refer to our web site for a sample of the Agreement to Mediate or contact us to discuss this.
If a party suffers from any condition mentally, physically or cognitively, which prevents them from fully participating in the process, then a Workplace Mediation will not be a suitable process for them.
Get In Touch
If you have a query relating to a Workplace Dispute and want to explore whether or not a particular situation maybe appropriate for Mediation, please ring our Administration Point on 01623 706020 or e mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always able to provide impartial information, without obligation.