Getting back around the table
When you have a dispute with your boss, things can get very difficult. For bosses, disputes can be costly, time consuming, and have a negative effect on morale throughout the company.
It is in everyone’s interests to resolve disputes as quickly as possible and with minimum fuss. If things haven’t yet escalated to the point where you are initiating a tribunal, then mediation may get everyone back around the table and talking again, preventing the situation from escalating.
Employment law specialist and Partner in the Employment team at FBC Manby Bowdler Tracy Worthington says mediation is an option to resolve issues, bringing together an independent and impartial third-party to act as a mediator between an employer and employee, or between two employees.
Tracy says: “It’s the next step after informal discussions, and is voluntary. You don’t have to accept any of the recommendations made at mediation, and if you are still unhappy with the proposed resolution you can then take the process on to conciliation or even straight to a tribunal.
“It is important to point out, though, that mediation shouldn’t be used if a problem should be formally investigated, such as harassment or discrimination.
“The most important part of mediation is choosing your impartial mediator. Remember, they are not there to sit in judgement of the situation, but to help both parties come to a resolution without the need for further action through a tribunal.
“It’s often advisable to have a mediator who is expert in employment law and can clarify the legal aspect of disputes, such as working hours, overtime, or even something as simple as dress code.”
Solicitors frequently act as impartial third party mediators. Other routes include conciliatory service Acas, union representatives or outside professional mediators. It must be someone that both parties agree to though, otherwise the mediation process could be doomed before it even starts.
While mediation agreements are not always legally binding, it is highly recommended that you talk to a solicitor before you sign any agreement. They will be able to tell you if the contract is in your interests, and resolves the issue to everyone’s satisfaction.
For more information regards Mediation, contact Tracy on 01902 392476 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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