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What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process whereby an appropriately trained mediator works with people who are experiencing conflict and disputes.  Mediation aims to help people overcome difficulties in their working relationships, so they can find mutually acceptable solutions to help them work better together in the future.

When is mediation appropriate?

Mediation can be used for many situations where colleagues are finding it difficult to work together or feel they are being unfairly treated.

Disputes and conflict can occur throughout people’s working lives and may have many different initial causes.  Situations can escalate where there are misunderstandings and where there is an inability to quickly resolve the issues.  Views can become entrenched and affect attitudes, behaviours, and performance.   This can result in people experiencing stress in the workplace and the conflict can quickly become deep rooted, making it harder for the affected employees to resolve the situation. 

Whilst employees can raise grievances to try to resolve disputes and conflict, this can often be both time-consuming and stressful.  Mediation is an alternative and  informal way forward to try to resolve issues.  It can also be an informal step within the grievance procedures.

When would mediation NOT be appropriate?

There may be circumstances where mediation is not felt to be appropriate, for example where it becomes clear there has been a serious breach of the Conduct & Discipline policy, or where mediation is being requested as a way of trying to avoid appropriate management procedures, for example capability issues.  In these circumstances the alternative internal procedures will need to be followed. In addition, as both parties have to be willing to participate, it cannot be used where one of the parties does not wish to participate in  mediation.

To find out more please contact the HR Service Desk on 01296 382233, hrservicedesk@buckscc.gov.uk...

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