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Mediation In The Workplace: The Future Of Employment Claims?

Fiona Martin

Fiona Martin

On Tuesday 26 June 2012, we provided training to managers in relation to different types of mediation in the workplace. The free seminar took place at the Copthorne Hotel Effingham Gatwick in conjunction with global recruitment experts Hays. I looked at judicial mediation and my co-presenters, Phil Jones of Workplace Dynamics, talked about team mediation and Jane Coward from Acas explained how mediation worked when using Acas mediation services.

We had an extremely lively group and the course was workshop-based, allowing attendees to work on case studies.

It was great to see so many people embracing the idea that mediation could be an alternative to using grievance and disciplinary processes. These can be extremely cumbersome and often mean that the relationship of trust and confidence breaks down not only between employees but also between employer and employee.

I also discussed the benefits of using judicial mediation rather than progressing to a full hearing. This is suitable for cases that are likely to be heard for more than three days and include discrimination claims. The latest figures show that in the first five months of this year, 72% of cases were successful. This means that they either settled on the day of the judicial mediation or shortly thereafter. This has helped save hearing days, which is also of great saving to the State.

The Government is currently considering an option that all employment claims will have to proceed to Acas in order that the cases can be dealt with by way of conciliation before progressing to the Tribunal stage. Many lawyers agree that this is a positive way forward, but only if this is properly resourced. Currently Acas are extremely stretched in terms of their resources and we would need to see the creation of many new jobs to cover this type of conciliation.

The feedback that we received from all delegates was extremely cheering and we plan to roll out our mediation seminar to Croydon and Brighton & Hove.

If you are interested in attending a course of this type, which includes an interactive workshop, then please contact us or leave a comment below and we will advise you as to the next date that the course will be running.

About the author

Fiona Martin

fiona-martin

I lead the employment teams in our solicitors’ offices in Brighton, Eastbourne, Shoreham, Gatwick & Crawley and Croydon. As founding Director, I am also responsible for the firm’s marketing. I provide expert opinion for the press, disseminate employment law round-ups through my employment law blog and campaign on important issues such as maternity and disability discrimination. I train employers and HR professionals to be best practice managers and I am also a CEDR accredited mediator.

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