Recent research shows that less than 40% of employers are using
mediation as a strategy to resolve workplace conflict. Are
you aware that that if you refuse to go to mediation it will go
against you at the Employment Tribunals.
The Labour Relations Commission (LRC) provides a free workplace
mediation service. This service is particularly suited to disputes
involving individuals or small groups of workers in the
It is a confidential process that allows disputing parties to resolve
differences in a mutually agreeable way working with a neutral third
party mediator. The LRC’s workplace mediation service provides a prompt,
confidential and effective remedy to workplace conflicts, disputes and
Examples of disputes are –
- Interpersonal differences, conflicts, difficulties in working
- Breakdown in a working relationship.
- Issues arising from a grievance and disciplinary procedure
(particularly before a matter becomes a disciplinary issue.
- Industrial Relations issues which have not been the subject of a
referral to the Rights Commissioner Service or the Conciliation Service,
the Labour Court or other statutory dispute resolution bodies.
Workplace Mediation work?
Workplace Mediation provides an opportunity for those involved to
address the issues, explore options and reach a workable outcome through
a mutually agreeable course of action.
The process is flexible and can be adapted depending on individual
situations. Essentially it revolves around giving every individual
concerned an opportunity to give their side of the story and to work
with the other party to find a solution.
The process may involve a mix of joint meetings or meetings with the
mediator alone. The entire process is focused on every individual
involved being comfortable with the process and on the active
exploration of potential solutions.
Key principles governing the process include: -
- It is voluntary. It can only take place on the basis that all sides
are agreeable to participate. Anyone can withdraw at any stage.
- It is confidential. The process is private and confidential to the
parties unless otherwise agreed. This will give parties confidence to
express exactly how they feel and confidence to explore solutions
- It is fast. It takes place as soon as schedules permit.
- It is solution focused. The object of the exercise is to reach a
workable and mutually agreeable solution to the conflict or issue of
- It is impartial. The mediator is impartial and does not take sides.
the Benefits of Workplace Mediation?
It is an opportunity to resolve a problem in an informal non-adversarial
way. The resolution of the issue remains in the control of the
individuals directly concerned. They will be involved in the development
of the solution and as a result the outcome is likely to be better and
It creates a safe place for all sides to have their say and be heard. It
has the potential for a high success rate and positive outcomes where
the parties are genuinely committed to a resolution. Mediation focuses
on the future working relationships of those involved. It will not
duplicate other dispute resolution services.
How do I
Apply for Mediation?
All applications for mediation should ideally be made on a joint basis.
The process will work best when both parties have a desire to resolve an
issue and have jointly agreed that mediation is the best means to
secure that resolution.
However the LRC will attempt to secure agreement to participate in
mediation where only one party has sought the intervention. The process
is voluntary and the LRC is not in a position to compel attendance.
Visit the LRC website and click here to find out more about their
workplace mediation service.
Visit the Employment
Resource Bureau for information on human resource management for
your community organisation.
The content in this article is not a
legal interpretation of any matter and should not be interpreted as