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At Mediations Australia, we resolve workplace disputes with significantly better outcomes, not to mention the massive cost and time saving for all involved.
Workplace mediation is essentially a meeting between two or more parties that are at odds, with the goal of leading discussion towards a resolution. The meeting should be chaired by someone who is impartial to the matters being discussed, and preferably impartial to the parties involved in the mediation.
Importantly, mediation in the workplace is not about identifying the fault.
This is not a procedure for determining facts, making conclusions about what happened, and deciding who is correct or incorrect. Sometimes the parties in a workplace mediation desire to define one person as correct and the other as incorrect, but this isn’t the objective of workplace mediation.
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At Mediations Australia, our Workplace Mediators are experienced, accredited, and adept at working with people to find cost-effective and equitable solutions to disagreements. Our method is private, balanced, and unbiased.
Our first step is to determine whether a specific workplace disagreement is appropriate for mediation. When we have established an agreement to participate in the mediation, we will:
- Arrange for individual meetings with each person to better understand the concerns and to explain the procedure.
- Bring all of the participants together to share their problems in a moderated discussion.
- Encourage them to see things from each other’s point of view.
- Make sure no one feels disadvantaged, so they may participate in fair and equal debates and negotiations.
- Encourage them to look into possible solutions.
Our skilled workplace mediator facilitates the conversation and encourages the parties to reach a mutually acceptable settlement to the issues at hand. The mediator establishes and supervises a fair approach to keep the conversation courteous and forward-looking.
It is critical to recognise that the participants are not forced to reach a conclusion. Mediation can only resolve a conflict if both parties agree. Participants are urged to achieve an agreement but are not required to do so. If they are unable to achieve a mutually acceptable compromise, they will have gained a greater understanding of each other’s viewpoints.
Employees can address their issues in a controlled, fair, and neutral atmosphere with our approach. Whether or not an agreement is achieved at the end of the process, everyone engaged is better able to manage working relationships.
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What is Workplace Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary, confidential discussion of the issues in dispute between the parties involved, facilitated by an independent mediator. The discussion allows participants to be heard as well as hear what each other have to say about the issue in dispute. Effective workplace mediation will encourage employees to participate in logical discourse and strive towards finding solutions that work for all parties involved.
A workplace investigation should be done rather than a mediation if one or more parties are looking for a process that clears their name while labeling the other person as wrong or at blame. An investigation should only be carried out if there are reasonable reasons to believe a workplace policy has been broken. As a result, workplace mediators should avoid attempting to unearth the truth about what happened before, during, and after the episodes in question.
The Workplace Mediator
Problems arise not just because these parties have opposing viewpoints, but also because they have failed to communicate and resolve the conflict on their own. As a result, the duty of the workplace mediator is to encourage each party to discuss their viewpoints rather than to reach a consensus on these viewpoints.
The workplace mediator’s job also includes assisting the parties in reaching an agreement on future workplace interactions rather than prior interactions. The mediator’s job is to help the parties figure out what changes they need to make in their working relationship and behaviors in order to work together securely, respectfully, professionally, and productively in the future.
Is Workplace Mediation Compulsory
Yes, workplace mediation is entirely optional. An invitation to mediation should be viewed as an opportunity to resolve an issue in the workplace amicably.
If you’ve been requested to participate in workplace mediation but are unsure, you should at least attend the one-on-one pre-mediation session (also known as an intake) before determining whether or not to proceed to the joint session (with the other party). At times, people involved in a workplace dispute can become defiant and unwilling to resolve issues their way. This usually ends up being worse for them in the long run.
If a situation cannot be resolved through mediation, the employer must determine what actions, if any, are necessary. This usually entails them reviewing their policies and procedures and informing participants to attend training, counseling, performance reviews, and potentially legal action.
Is Workplace Mediation Legally Binding?
The agreements reached during mediation are not legally binding unless all participants sign an agreement to that effect.
If all parties sign a settlement or deed in relation to the mediation agreement, it can be enforced like any other type of contract.
The mediation process usually takes one day (or several days, depending upon the nature and complexity of the dispute).
If you’re an employer or employee wishing to discuss workplace mediation, book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our workplace mediators.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is workplace mediation?
Workplace mediation is a way for you and your employer to resolve disputes. It is confidential, voluntary and it can help avoid the expense of going to court.
Workplace mediation involves an impartial third party who assists the parties involved in their dispute so that they can come up with their own solution. The mediator does not make decisions for them but helps them arrive at a mutually acceptable outcome through discussion and negotiation.
In a workplace mediation, you and your employer are both encouraged to come up with an agreement that works for both of you. The process is confidential, voluntary and not binding. However, if you don’t reach an agreement at mediation proceedings, then the case will proceed as normal through the courts system.
Mediation is a great option for parties who are unable to reach an agreement. It is a confidential process which allows both sides to be heard in a non-confrontational way. Mediation can also save you time and money as it avoids the expense of going to court.
Why consider workplace mediation?
It’s important to note that mediation is a good way to resolve disputes, avoid legal action and its associated costs, time and stress. In addition to these benefits for you as an individual employee or manager, workplace mediation can also be beneficial for your employer: it can help them avoid the damage done by litigation by keeping complaints out of courtrooms and out of the public eye.
Mediation offers many advantages over litigation:
- It’s confidential – unlike the process in court where everything said during proceedings is made public knowledge. Mediation is conducted confidentially so there are no negative consequences for either party involved when they come through this process (unless they choose not to abide by their agreement).
- It saves money – mediation sessions often cost less than hiring lawyers who would then need billing hours before going into court if things ever got so far along into an adversarial relationship between two parties involved with each other at work such as employer versus employee(s).
How does it work?
In a workplace mediation, the parties (employer and employee) are assisted by an independent mediator who helps them negotiate and reach agreement on the issues in dispute. The mediator’s role is to assist the parties in reaching their own solutions to problems rather than imposing his or her own solution on them. The mediator does not take sides; instead, he or she acts as an impartial third party who facilitates communication between the parties.
The process begins when one of the disputing parties hires an attorney to represent him/her in negotiations with another party who also has legal representation–usually through his/her employer’s Human Resources department or labor relations consultants hired by management. After some discussion between attorneys, they may ask for assistance from a neutral third party: someone knowledgeable about employment law but not representing either side in this particular case.*
How do I find a workplace mediator to assist me with my matter?
If you’re looking for help with a workplace dispute, it’s best to start by talking to your union or employee association. They may have their own internal mediation service or be able to refer you on to an external service.
If the union doesn’t have an internal mediation service, they should be able to give you some advice about where else in your area there are services available. You can also search online for a workplace mediation service which specialises in workplace disputes and contact them directly by phone or email (or even drop by if they have an office).
You can also talk with a lawyer who specialises in employment law matters as they may know of suitable services as well as being able to advise on what steps should be taken next once all parties are ready for formal negotiations or arbitration through ADR procedures such as mediation/conciliation proceedings before the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
If you’re looking for mediation in Melbourne or elsewhere in Australia, here are some resources:
The Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training (ACIRRT) offers mediation services. You can find out more about this service on their website here. – The Industrial Relations Mediation Service (IRMS) is a free, national workplace dispute resolution service for employees, employers and unions. They have offices in all states and territories except Western Australia. More information about the IRMS can be found here.
– The Dispute Resolution Institute (DRI) is a national professional organisation that provides mediation and dispute resolution services. It has offices in all states and territories except for Western Australia. More information about DRI can be found here.
If you’re looking for a mediator in Melbourne, here are some resources: The Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training (ACIRRT) offers mediation services. You can find out more about this service on their website here.
– The Industrial Relations Mediation Service (IRMS) is a free, national workplace dispute resolution service for employees, employers and unions. They have offices in all states and territories except Western Australia. More information about the IRMS can be found here. – The Dispute Resolution Institute (DRI) is a national professional organisation that provides mediation and dispute resolution services. It has offices in all states and territories except for Western Australia. More information about DRI can be found here.
Is workplace mediation confidential?
- Confidentiality is a key benefit of workplace mediation. The mediator will not discuss the matter with anyone else, including your employer, without your permission.
- The mediator may not give advice to either party in the dispute, but they may refer you to someone who can provide advice or other services (e.g., legal representation).
- The mediator will not tell your employer about the mediation unless: (1) both parties agree; (2) there’s an emergency situation that requires immediate action on behalf of one party’s health or safety; or (3) there are criminal charges being brought against a party involved in the dispute that would affect another employee who needs protection from further harm by that person while they’re still employed together at work
In some jurisdictions, mediation is confidential. This means that you don’t have to worry about your employer finding out what happened during the mediation. However, if a settlement agreement is reached and signed by both sides, it may become part of an employee’s personnel file.
Workplace mediation offers a positive way for you and your employer to resolve disputes.
Workplace mediation offers a positive way for you and your employer to resolve disputes. Mediation allows employees to resolve their differences in an impartial, private setting without the need for formal legal action or arbitration.
Employees can benefit from workplace mediation in many ways:
- You’ll be able to find solutions that are fair and equitable for everyone involved.
- The process is confidential, so no one needs to know about it except those directly involved in resolving the dispute (and of course the mediator). This means that there’s less risk of damaging your reputation at work or affecting how other people perceive you–and it also helps ensure that your personal life remains separate from any issues related to work performance or behavior problems on the job site.
- The mediator will not take sides; instead he/she will focus on helping both sides reach an agreement that works well for everyone involved–which often leads toward greater understanding between coworkers after working through disagreements together rather than simply taking sides against each other based on personal preferences alone.”
Using mediation can help you find solutions that are fair and equitable for everyone involved. The process is confidential, so no one needs to know about it except those directly involved in resolving the dispute (and of course the mediator). This means that there’s less risk of damaging your reputation at work or affecting how other people perceive you–and it also helps ensure that your personal life remains separate from any issues related to work performance or behavior problems on the job site.”
As you can see, workplace mediation is not for everyone. However, it’s a good option for individuals who want to resolve their problem without having to take legal action. If you think this might be the case for you then don’t hesitate to contact us today! We look forward to working with you and helping solve your issue in the most efficient and effective way possible.
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