The Role of Mediation

Mediation needs to be seen as a complement to, and not an alternative to, agreed employment procedures and union representation. It does not for instance undermine management’s ability to use disciplinary sanctions, nor does it undermine a union’s ability to support its members. By offering mediation employers and unions can empower staff to find a win/win solution.

Making Referrals

Many cases are suitable for mediation, some are not. A classic example of the type of case that is usually mediable is a ‘personality clash’. Good mediators will advise, from a preliminary outline, whether or not the issues in question appear to be mediable.

Referrals can be made by employers, unions or individuals. Whoever makes a referral, this needs to be with the consent of the parties involved, so they can be fully committed to the process, giving it the best chance of success.

An early referral to mediation can often avoid the need for formal hearings. Ideally the opportunity for this can be included in agreed procedures.

If formal procedures are unavoidable, mediation can be useful after the event, to help people re-adjust.


For mediation to succeed the process needs to be confidential to those who take part in it; discussions can then be free and open. Before commencing a mediation we therefore ask that the parties concerned agree to keep confidential anything that is said within the process.

For our part Mediation-GB will not disclose the contents of the mediation process unless we believe that such action is necessary:

To prevent harm to our clients and/or others

Because a serious unlawful act has been, or will be, committed

Location for Mediation

It is important that mediation is carried out on neutral ground to help maintain impartiality.

Most people prefer to remain on their employer’s premises, which allows a reassuring familiarity. In that case we would ask that the referrer makes available two rooms, away from the parties’ normal place(s) of work.

However if required we can provide two rooms at Mercury House with no further charge.

The Setting for Workplace Mediation

Workplace Mediation Pages: