Can an employer ask a claimant who has brought an employment tribunal claim against it to take part in mediation?

Yes. There is nothing to prevent an employer from asking a claimant to take part in mediation as an alternative to going to the tribunal. Generally, research evidence suggests that mediation is most effective in the early stages of a dispute before positions become entrenched. In particular, in cases where an employee has brought a tribunal claim but remains employed by the employer, mediation might be an attractive alternative to the formalities of the tribunal hearing.

From 2009, as an alternative to the normal tribunal proceedings, employment tribunals offer "judicial mediation" in discrimination cases that are likely to take more than three days. There is no obligation on the parties to accept mediation. The mediator will be an employment judge. If the mediation is unsuccessful, the case will proceed as normal with a different employment judge.

Employers may also include the option of mediation as part of their internal grievance procedures. Various organisations, including Acas, offer mediation services.