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Resolving workplace disputes through mediation

Author: Aled Davies


  • Mediation is suitable for resolving a range of workplace conflicts. It is recognised as a useful tool for settling workplace disputes in the "Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures". (See Mediation in context)
  • Mediation focuses on the interests of the parties to the dispute, helping to address their differences productively through dialogue. (See What is mediation?)
  • Workplace conflict can be detrimental to business in a number of ways. The benefits of using mediation to resolve disputes can be far-reaching. (See The benefits of resolving workplace disputes through mediation)
  • Popular approaches for addressing workplace conflict include facilitative and transformative mediation. (See Mediation approaches)
  • The principles of facilitative mediation encourage the parties to a dispute to resolve their conflict, and empowers them to become accountable and responsible for the outcome of the process. (See The principles of facilitative mediation)
  • The location of the mediation session should, where practicable, be neutral and large enough to accommodate all parties, everyone who attends must agree to confidentiality, and if a party wishes to be accompanied by another person, the other party should be notified. (See The mediation process: general considerations)
  • The employer's mediation scheme coordinator should select an appropriate external or internal mediator. Prior to the joint mediation meeting, the parties have a separate discussion with the mediator. (See The mediation process: pre-mediation)
  • There are a number of stages to the mediation meeting, including both parties having the opportunity to present their perspective and tell their side of the story, exploration of the issues, problem-solving, and designing an agreement. (See The mediation process: the joint mediation meeting)
  • Mediation is a useful tool for seeking to resolve many disputes, and it is particularly appropriate before the parties engage in a formal process. However, some disputes are unsuitable for mediation. (See Disputes suitable for mediation and Disputes unsuitable for mediation)
  • When an employer seeks to introduce mediation as a process for resolving disputes, it will need to explain the benefits of mediation to different sections of the organisation. (See Overcoming resistance to mediation)
  • A number of factors will influence the employer's choice as to whether to use an internal or external mediator. (See Internal or external mediators, Choosing an external mediation provider and Developing an internal mediation capability)
  • Employers should ensure that their mediation initiative is embedded into the organisation's policies and procedures, so that employees know how to access the process. (See Mediation policies and procedures)