The role of Mediation in Workplace Disputes Conflicts in the workplace can arise from a variety of sources such as:
- Serious disagreements between team members;
- Tensions created as a result of performance management;
- Allegations of inappropriate behaviour such as bullying and harassment or discrimination;
- Difficulties encountered in implementing change management;
- The integration of staff after a TUPE transfer or merger of teams;
- A return to work after lengthy sickness absence;
- Formal disciplinary or redundancy procedures.
Where there is an ongoing employment relationship, mediation can be particularly important in ensuring that disputes are resolved in such a way as to enable the parties to continue working together. Where employment is at an end mediation provides an opportunity to avoid litigation or to bring it to a conclusion without the delay, expense and stress of a hearing.
Mediation can be applied at any stage in the life of a dispute, for example when:
- A serious difference arises which cannot be resolved directly between individuals concerned, but they agree that a facilitated discussion is likely to be helpful;
- A formal grievance has been raised which, if not resolved, will lead to the need for a formal internal hearing;
- Legal proceedings are threatened;
- Legal proceedings have been issued.
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