Mediation or Tribunal? Your Choice

4/8/2022 3 min read
HR Vector 08

Mediation or Tribunal – You Choose

Mediation usually occurs to resolve a dispute. The objective is to ‘achieve a binding and enforceable agreement settling all matters in dispute’. Businesses typically outsource their mediation requirements to gain an impartial and neutral perspective. The mediator becomes an active driver as the parties work together to achieve an optimal solution.

Businesses handle conflict through formal HR procedures such as disciplinaries, grievances or even employment Tribunals. While these are primarily HR responsibilities, HR teams and managers can lack the skills, confidence or independence to handle these internal conflicts.

Mediation is always impartial, confidential and without prejudice and sits alongside formal HR processes.

Walk your way to conflict or confront the difficult issue while it is still easy

Organisations must learn the skills to tackle issues before they escalate into full-blown conflicts. Combining formal processes and informal constructive conversations between parties to resolve conflict early could save a lot of time and money. It will also help prevent highly skilled employees from walking out the door.

Resolving conflict is not a case of ‘I win, you lose.’, ‘you are right and I am wrong’ but, on trying to find a realistic solution that both parties are happy with. Joint solutions often last longer and allow for an opportunity to learn and rebuild relationships.

Investing in a strategic approach from senior management for employees to have open, honest dialogue and ‘lean into’ the challenges is the key for success with conflict management and happier employees.

Case Study.. An employee had accused their line manager of bullying and threatened a constructive unfair dismissal claim that could have cost the company over £25,000.

Through mediation, we were able to encourage each party to openly state their grievances. Having clearly set out the cause of their frustration, and been presented with the other side’s case, both sides were better able to understand the merit of the other's concerns. The employee was also able to set more realistic expectations about the outcome of the case.

The result? The case was settled for £3,000, saving the considerable time, stress and cost of a tribunal.

How can we help?

Becky Hill, principal of HR Now, is accredited by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), the international benchmark for mediation excellence. Contact to discuss how she can help you settle actual or potential disputes.

Tony Riley is a highly experienced HR consultant and boasts a 100% success rate in Tribunals. Contact to discuss how he can help you.