Mediation is an effective way of resolving workplace disputes which:
- reaches fair, amicable and clear agreements
- is impartial, confidential and entered into voluntarily
- allows people to be heard without being judged
- provides a basis for improved communication
- Download the mediation leaflet (PDF, 116.7 KB) and visit the Mediation page on the Staff Care Services website.
When mediation can help
- Where difficulties arise from change
- Interpersonal conflicts
- Unresolved disputes
- Issues around discrimination, harassment, bullying
- Differences in working style, perceptions
- Communication breakdown.
When mediation is unlikely to succeed
- If one or more participants are demonstrating an intention to maintain a grudge, an entrenched position, or cause harm to others
- Where formal / legal sanctions are thought appropriate.
How mediation involvement works
Mediation involves participants defining the problem, agreeing on objectives to resolve the problem and working towards an acceptable solution for all parties. Participants must be prepared to work towards resolution and have the authority to agree on a solution. Mediators facilitate and broker agreements, remain impartial and make no judgements regarding the parties involved. Mediators assist and enable all parties to work through problems and identify solutions.
The process concentrates on upholding safe boundaries and fairness for all concerned.
Mediation will always take account of the individual circumstances of the case. The experienced Mediation Team are trained in managing workplace disputes. Generally two Mediators work on a case.
Typically mediation sessions are held in 'neutral' venues around Kent.
Mediators work with all parties to establish needs, personal positions and to explore the key issues. Ground rules are agreed and the basis for resolution stated. During discussions key points are noted which form the basis of any agreements.
Mediation is carried out on the basis of confidentiality. Mediators have the right to break confidentiality if there is an identified risk of harm to any parties whether inside or outside the mediation process.
Stopping the process
- Participants can choose to withdraw at any time
- Mediators have the right to halt the process if they feel any party is not serious
about reaching an agreement
- If a formal procedure for example a grievance or disciplinary is started. This is
likely to halt a mediation process.
How mediations work with other processes or formal procedures
The nature and spirit of mediation is co-operative. It provides an alternative to formal procedures or it can be used as part of a resolution within formal procedures e.g. a return to work negotiation.
Other people can play a role in the mediator's process
Due to their roles, personnel and Unions may be involved in identifying situations where mediation may be of value.
Workplace mediation is supported in Kent County Council by senior management and Trade Unions.
Contact the service
For further information or to discuss mediation please visit Mediation Services, Park House, 110-112 Mill Street, East Malling, Kent. ME19 6BU or call 03000 41 14 11.