Integrate mediation into the culture of your organisation
Employment Tribunals are incredibly costly in terms of time and money. The average cost of defending a Tribunal claim is between £10,000 and £15,000. This is just the cost of defending the claim. This does not take into account the cost and time to you of having employees out of the office and/or assisting in the preparation of the claim.
It does not take into account the initial costs prior to the claim being lodged for example handling a grievance. Therefore, mediation, which is a confidential form of alternative dispute resolution, can be very cost-effective compared to litigation.
Our solicitors can offer you workplace mediation. Our objective is to restore and maintain the employment relationship where possible. Therefore, the focus is on collaboration and working together to move forward. The mediator is not there to work out who is right or wrong. They are there to reach an amicable resolution of the conflict so the parties can move on and work together again.
Important things to consider:
- To prepare for mediation you should make sure you know the problem you want the mediator to help with and you have a list of events that have contributed to the issue.
- Mediation is completely voluntary so both parties have to be willing to enter into the process.
- Agreements made in mediation are not normally legally binding unless both sides specifically ask for this.
Support and guidance with every stage
Mediation aims to maintain employment relationships. All kinds of disputes can be mediated if those involved want to find a way to move forward and resolve their problems. It can be used at any stage in a dispute but is most effective before positions become engrained or untenable. This includes resolving issues such as;
- Allegations of bullying
- Claims relating to harassment and/or discrimination
- Equal pay
- Terms and conditions or flexible working
- Appeals against disciplinary action
- Collective disputes etc.
Mediation involves an independent, impartial, objective person helping disputing parties reach a solution that’s acceptable to everyone. The mediator can talk to both sides separately or together. Generally the mediator will talk to one party and then the other and look for common grounds or areas in which the parties could reach a compromise. Then both parties will be brought together for a joint meeting.
Mediators do not make judgements or determine outcomes. They ask questions that help the parties to understand their underlying problems, assist the parties to understand the issues and where the other party is coming from and also help them to clarify the options for resolving their differences or disputes.
There are many benefits of mediation within the workplace. For example, it saves time, money and stress for you as an employer and provides you with a better chance of an issue being resolved where both parties reach an amicable agreement. Furthermore, it increases the chances of retaining good employees and improving their relationships with employers. Additionally, it leads to a reduction in employment tribunal claims which are very expensive and could also involve bad publicity for the business. Stress as a result of unresolved disputes in the workplace can lead to more employees taking sick leave and less productivity. Therefore, workplace mediation means this can be avoidable and it will create more productive workforce’s.
Our lawyers can help you with many aspects of workplace mediation. We can provide advice and support on disputes and issues you can resolve using mediation. This includes;
- helping you to ensure that your issue is suitable for mediation
- encouraging you to start mediation as soon as possible for it to be more effective
- appointing you with one of our trustworthy mediators
- reassuring you to not worry if there is no immediate agreement or solution.
Please contact us if you would like us to come in and mediate a dispute for you.