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 grievances and to facilitate fair change management.
A mediator in such instances can be an internal person (often HR) but to be impartial they must have had no previous role in the matter under discussion and nor must they personally have anything to gain or lose by the outcome.
Often, an external independent mediator may be perceived as more impartial and more objective. Also, they are likely to have more experience and greater expertise. AND they are likely to interact more positively with lawyers acting for one or more of the parties!
We offer Ethical checklists for employers to consider when seeking to resolve grievances and effect change through mediation.
The checklists are not intended to create any contractual obligations upon anyone.
Employers have sole discretion as to the degree in which they are applied and, indeed, if at all.
We anticipate that our Ethical Guidelines will be viewed as a supplement to an employer's regular policies and procedures in any particular instance rather than as a substitute for the
Usually, referrals to us are made by a member of an employer's HR or senior management team.
If approached directly by an employee whose issue is with their employer, we will ask for his/her consent to contact their employer before we can act.
Our standard terms and conditions apply in the case of all referrals made to us unless otherwise agreed in writing before they take - or continue to take - effect.
A referral can be made to us by phone, email or on our Referral Form.
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 -