Mediation: The Sensible Means For Resolving Contract Disputes
In an effort for companies to mitigate their risk, many contracts contain arbitration clauses as the norm. This type of clause requires arbitration as a form of alternative dispute resolution if a dispute over the contract arises, and although such clauses are extremely useful in some cases and have helped many get on with business as usual after a dispute arises, they are not necessarily the best in all circumstances.
Mediation In The Workplace - What Is It And How Can It Help You?
Disputes at work are common place and can arise for a variety of reasons. As with all kinds of disputes in life a resolution as quickly as possible is always the desired outcome, but it is not always easy to know how to go about achieving this resolution. This article looks at the role mediation can play in workplace disputes and for what kind of disputes mediation can be used to try find a resolution.
Mediation is a form of ADR - or, Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is completely voluntary and confidential and involves an independent, impartial individual (the mediator) listening to both sides of the disagreement. The mediator will not pass judgment and will not decide that one side is wrong and one side is right, they will simply ensure that both sides are fully aware of the issues in dispute and will highlight the options available to the parties. The mediator can talk to both parties, either separately or together. Their main aim will be to find a resolution to the problem that both parties are happy with and try and restore the employer/employee relationship in a way that it can be maintained.
As with all arguments or disputes, discussion and understanding the issues involved is most useful early on in the dispute and this is also true for mediation. Mediation often appears as a stage in an employer's grievance procedure and is usually suggested to take place after discussions between employees/employers have been deemed unsuccessful but before the matter is taken to a tribunal.
Types of issues in the workplace which may be suitable for mediation are numerous. These may include personal injury disputes, harassment issues (not related to discrimination), issues regarding pension rights, holiday pay issues, non-payment of wages issues and issues surrounding withdrawal of benefits. Mediation costs vary and the venue for the mediation is usually a private room in your place of work, though this does not have to be the case.
Mediation can be a very useful step in the resolution of disputes especially if it fulfils its aim of restoring the employee/employer relationship and avoids the need to proceed to an employment tribunal. If you do have an issue in the workplace you should firstly try and discuss the issue with your superior or a work colleague to gain some perspective and see if they can offer a resolution. However, if discussions do not provide a solution then mediation may be the answer.
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