Mediation is something that is totally voluntary and confidential form of alternative problem solver. This is an independent and impartial person helping two or more individuals or groups reach a amicable solution that’s acceptable to everyone. The mediator can talk to both sides separately or together. Mediators do not make judgments and they do not determine the outcome – they will ask questions that will help to uncover problems, and assist to understand the issues and help to clarify the options for resolving their difference.
The overriding aim of mediation is to resolve and restore the employment relationship wherever possible. This means that they will try to get everyone to focus on working together to move forward, and not determining who was right or wrong.
Mediation can work if those involved want to find a way to resolve problems and move forward. It can be used at any stage in a dispute but is most effective before it become too difficult to change attitudes. You might want to think about writing a mediation stage into your grievance procedure.
Agreements reached through mediation are not intended to be legally binding or enforceable but honor only. However, where both sides agree, legally binding agreements can be drawn up. You are strongly advised to take legal advice before entering into any legally binding agreement.
In about 80% of mediations undertaken, an agreement is reached.
This is a term used to refer to talks between representative groups which would often be a trade union representative and employers, and mediated by a independent third party.