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Case studies - East Sussex County Council
Taking an alternative approach to resolving conflict
How mediation works
- they are entering mediation voluntarily
- the process is confidential
- no information provided by either party during the mediation will be used in any future legal claim.
Dispute resolution procedures
The benefits and limitations of mediation
Dos and don'ts
- consult with employees, either individually or collectively, prior to introducing a mediation scheme, to ensure they regard the scheme as genuine and impartial
- pay particular attention to how the mediator will be paid. If the employer is to shoulder the entire cost, make sure that all concerned understand that the mediator's remuneration does not depend on the outcome
- take legal advice before embarking on a mediation as not every case will be suitable and, as with any settlement, there may be good reasons why settlement should only be reached on certain terms or by certain methods. In almost all employment cases a settlement will have to comply with certain statutory provisions in order to be legally binding
- take legal advice on the extent to which the outcome of a mediation may be admissible in any subsequent legal proceedings bear in mind that there is no 'one size fits all' solution. While mediation is often effective, it can sometimes introduce unnecessary extra cost and complexity to workplace disputes.
- impose a mediation scheme unilaterally without prior consultation: it needs to have legitimacy in the eyes of the workforce if it is to stand any chance of success
- allow the scheme to become overly complex or time consuming
- agree to engage in mediation in every single dispute. Ultimately, mediation depends on the willingness of both sides to compromise, but in some cases compromise will be almost impossible because of the attitude of the employee, the employer - or both.
- Conciliation and mediation - employment law information
- Mediation policy - downloadable model document
- Settlement agreement - downloadable template and drafting guidance
- Mediation: an approach to resolving workplace issues - CIPD employer guide
- Dispute resolution - CIPD podcast