Mediation is a flexible process for resolving disputes in which an independent neutral mediator helps the parties to reach agreement between themselves. Therefore, the mediator is impartial and does not take sides. They do not judge and neither do they impose any outcomes. Mediation is voluntary and the consent of every participant is required before the mediation can commence. They can withdraw their consent at any time.
Mediation is private, entirely ‘without prejudice’ meaning all communications with the mediator are confidential and cannot be disclosed during or after the mediation without the author’s consent.
If agreed terms are achieved, they will usually be set out in writing and, when signed by all the parties, will be legally binding.
Our mediation processes are specifically designed to help resolve grievance, disciplinary, capability and trust & confidence issues and, where these aims are not possible, we can facilitate severance terms.
A mediator in such cases can be an internal person (often HR) but to be impartial they must have had no previous role in the matter and nor must they personally have anything to gain or lose in the outcome. Sometimes, an external independent mediator may be perceived as more impartial and possibly more objective. They are likely to have more experience and greater expertise. Also, they are likely to interact more positively with lawyers acting for one or more of the parties.
Our mediation process is intended as a supplement to an employer’s internal proceedings and does not replace them. At any time during our employment mediation, one or more participant is free to utilise them if they wish.
A member of either an employer’s HR or senior management teams may refer an issue to us for employment mediation by telephone or using our referral form. Discussions with us about a referral are strictly confidential, without obligation and are free of charge.
If proceeding, we will ask the referrer to introduce us to the other participant/s in the terms we suggest or otherwise. We will then verify that they consent to our role and remit in the matter.
We will have at least one such discussion with every participant to –
These are agreed at the outset and are strictly enforced. All formats except email are usually completed within one day.
Email mediations are usually completed within one week.
We will prepare a Mediation Referral Agreement which will include the above arrangements and cover the participants’ obligations regarding confidentiality. We will normally ask for our fees to be paid by the employer concerned on the express understanding that this will in no way impact upon our neutrality. These agreements can be signed digitally.
The Mediator will begin with informal introductions and confirm the rules which have already been agreed.
Most participants in our mediations prefer not to have a joint meeting at the start but we will ask just in case they are felt to be of value.
All participants at our mediations may, if they wish, be accompanied by any one companion of their choice. Companions may take full part in the discussions.
Recording any part of a mediation is not permitted.
Usually, our mediator will speak with each participant (with any companion) before passing on to discussions with another participant. This process will continue during the mediation and is adapted to suit the chosen format.
Nothing said to the Mediator in confidence will be disclosed to others without the consent of its author.
Our mediations are facilitative. We cannot give legal or any other advice. Therefore, participants should obtain whatever professional advice they want before the mediation or arrange beforehand for access to it during the mediation if required.
As mediations are not formal and have none of the trappings of court or employment tribunal proceedings, we can also incorporate the following into an outcome to our processes -