Whatever the size, structure, or industry sector of a company, workplace disputes are a common problem. They can range from internal conflicts with employees to external conflicts with suppliers, subcontractors, or customers. Dealing with these disputes can be stressful and costly. These relationships need to be preserved for commercial effectiveness, notwithstanding the issues that have developed. It is always best to try to resolve them by talking to the other party and seeing if you can reach a mutual agreement. But if that doesn’t work, an alternative that may be considered is mediation. The Citizens Advice Bureau offers a low-cost mediation service where parties in a dispute can come together with nationally accredited mediators to negotiate a mutual and equitable solution for everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is mediation?
Mediation is an alternative way of resolving a dispute where the parties sit down together and, guided by mediators, negotiate a practical solution by consent to their issues. It gives everyone the opportunity to be heard, define issues, consider options, and settle on a solution that suits them. Mediation is guided by experienced and professionally and nationally accredited mediators. The mediators are impartial and don’t give any advice or make any decisions for the parties; they facilitate a conversation between the parties to assist them to focus on the best way forward.
If mediation ends in an agreement, the result is an agreement by consent that is written in the parties’ own words.
How does mediation work?
Once the parties have agreed to mediation, the mediation coordinator will book a separate pre-mediation interview for each party. This is an opportunity for each party to discuss their issues confidentially. It’s also a good time to ask any questions or raise any issues you’re unsure about. The mediator will explain the mediation process so each party is fully prepared prior to the joint mediation session.
After the pre-mediation interview, the mediators will complete an assessment of suitability for mediation. If mediation proceeds, the mediation coordinator will book a joint mediation appointment for the parties to attend. The Citizens Advice Bureau uses a co-mediation model with two mediators to make sure the process is balanced and unbiased.
How much does commercial mediation cost?
A pre-mediation appointment costs $75 per party. A commercial mediation appointment costs $300 per party, per session.
Types of commercial disputes we can help with:
- Small Business;
- Group Facilitations; and
- Code of Conduct Reviews.