Workplace Mediation/Facilitation is provided on an ad hoc basis and delivered in a prompt, confidential and effective manner as an alternative remedy to workplace conflicts, disputes and disagreements. It is particularly suited to disputes involving individuals or small groups of workers who find themselves dealing with situations which may involve the following:
- Interpersonal differences, conflicts, difficulties in working together
- Breakdown in a working relationship
- Issues arising from a grievance and disciplinary procedure (particularly before a matter becomes a disciplinary issue)
- Mediation is included as a voluntary stage in some grievance or dignity at work procedures and the WRC is nominated as the provider of a mediation service in some organisations. The WRC is available to discuss a similar arrangement with other public bodies or private companies.
- It does not deal with pre-adjudication mediation which involves employment rights claims made to the Adjudication Service. This is a separate process provided under section 39(1) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015. See Mediation in Employment Rights / Unequal Treatment and Discrimination Claims.
How does Workplace Mediation work?
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 but essentially revolves around giving all parties concerned an opportunity to give their side of the story and to work with the other party to find a solution.
Some key principles governing the process include: -
- It is voluntary – it can only take place on the basis that all parties are agreeable to participate. Any party can withdraw at any stage of the process.
- 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 without prejudice.
- It is fast
- It is solution focused – the object of the exercise is to reach a workable and mutually agreeable solution to the conflict or issue of difference.
- It is impartial – the mediator does not take sides.
What are the Benefits of Workplace Mediation?
- It provides 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.
- 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.
- Workplace mediation is cognisant of the future working relationships of those involved.
What happens if a dispute remains unresolved following mediation?
The service is focused on assisting parties to deal effectively with disputes that arise in the workplace. Participation in mediation does not oblige any party to commit to any further procedure in the event that the matter remains unresolved following mediation. The mediator will, in the event of non-resolution following mediation, assist the parties in agreeing a joint way forward.
How do I Apply for Workplace Mediation?
The process will work best when all parties have a desire for resolution and have jointly agreed that mediation is the best means to secure that resolution. Applications for mediation should ideally be made on a joint basis.
Notwithstanding this, the Commission will attempt to secure agreement to participate in mediation where only one party has sought the intervention. The process is however voluntary and the Commission is not in a position to compel attendance.
There are two ways to request the assistance of the Workplace Mediation Services:
1. By writing to the Conciliation, Advisory and Mediation Services, Workplace Relations Commission, Lansdowne House, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4, D04 A3A8. or
2. By using the online Mediation referral form