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Mediation in the Workplace

The Government's radical reforms to the UK Employment Tribunals system and the confirmed changes to how and when employees can make unfair dismissal claims is likely to have far reaching implications on how Employers manage employee disputes.

Mediation in the workplace is likely to become not only more common, but quite possibly may become something Employers must initiate before they start any formal proceedings.

The reality is that every workplace has some kind of issue and whilst these issues don’t have a major impact on productivity or morale, the results can be devestating when the issues spiral out of control.

How do you handle these scenarios?

As a business owner, director or senior manager,  it’s your responsibility to deal with things.  You don’t want grievances or disputes taking you away from your day to day job, and also your staff who are there to drive your business performance.

So what can you do to resolve these issues..........Use Mediation.

Mediation attempts to resolve issues before they reach the courts. You don’t want to end up at an employment tribunal, and it’s far better to try and deal with bullying, harassment and other serious grievances before they get to this stage.

Mediation normally follows this process: -

• Negotiation… if that doesn’t work….
• Mediation…. which attempts to open up communication and seek a solution. If that doesn’t work then you need to try…
• Arbitration which may lead to
• Litigation – and as I’ve said you want to avoid that!

When you are involved in an employment tribunal it can be damaging for your reputation, and cost you more than just the fee awarded by the tribunal judge.

According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, resolving just one conflict through mediation can save you an average of £20,000.

If both parties involved in the dispute are prepared to listen to you and you can effectively act independently, you may want to try mediation. We at Employ Easily HR Services also have Consultants you are well versed in this type of work, and we are happy to do this on your behalf, allowing you to concentrate on driving your business forward.

Here are some hints and tips on how to conduct mediation meetings: -

• Introduction and agreeing ground rules
• Hearing what’s happened and summarising these points back to both parties
• Identifying the root cause and underlying issue
• Reaching mutual understanding and acknowledge feelings of both parties
• Generating ideas to reach a resolution or way forward – open and honestly
• Detailed notes confirming discussions – it’s good practice to get both parties to sign this agreeing it’s a fair reflection

Mediation is not about who’s right and who’s wrong – it’s about reaching a solution that both parties can work with. Both parties need to see above the rights and wrong, and try to move on from the issue.

If you do have a work related issue, or wish to discuss any aspect of HR please contact us on 0800 612 4772 or get a Free Quote for HR Services via our website.

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