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MEDIATION JOURNAL


d. e.


Considering outcomes and drafting appropriate outcome letters;


Providing cover for employees who are either suspended or are absent because of stress caused by the relevant process - for example, in ‘bullying’ cases it is not uncommon for both the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator to be absent through stress as a result of the issues raised.


2. Time spent by HR in connection with the processing of grievances and disciplinary issues, including:


a. Providing advice to managers and staff b. Arranging for investigations and investigatory meetings c.


Arranging for grievance/disciplinary hearings


d. Arranging for appeals from grievance/disciplinary hearings


e. Attending investigatory interviews and hearings


f. Note taking, transcribing and agreeing notes of investigations and hearings (including any appeals)


g. Dealing with the outcomes of investigations and hearings (including any appeals).


3. The cost of paying employees who are not at work through sickness caused by the stress of the conflict or through suspension and the costs associated with covering the work they should be doing.


4. The costs of lost production and lowered morale resulting from an atmosphere of dispute.


5. The cost of recruitment of replacement employees for staff who leave as a direct or indirect result of workplace disputes.


Of course, all of those costs are before a single penny has been spent on legal advice in connection with any dispute or resulting litigation.


Compared to the costs of litigation, the costs of mediation are tiny. Workplace mediation has very high success rates, with reports of about 80% of mediated issues resulting in complete resolution. Usually, it is also a quick and straightforward process with costs to the organisation that are a fraction of the costs of the initial investigation and perhaps a first grievance or disciplinary hearing. Although there will be some internal costs to the organisation in terms of management and HR time in setting up and dealing with the mediation process, those will be much lower than the costs of the more traditional processes. The fees paid to the mediation provider will usually equate to no more than 3 or perhaps 4 days of mediator time in total for an average mediation, which will be measured in the very low thousands of pounds.


Given those sorts of success rates and the extremely low costs, there appears to be an unassailable business case for


incorporating mediation into the normal processes of any organisation that employs staff. Even if one only considers the reduction in litigation costs for the business, the cost savings are likely to be huge. When one factors in the ‘hidden’ costs and the ‘hidden’ benefits of a mediation culture, especially saved management and HR time, which allows them to devote more time to what they probably perceive to be the work that they are really paid to do, the impact upon profitability can be colossal.


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It is also apparent that the earlier that mediation is introduced into the equation, the greater the cost savings can be.


So that raises the question as to why more businesses have not yet embraced workplace mediation or not embraced it fully. Is it just a matter of lack of awareness of the availability and/ or effectiveness of mediation? Is it that business is so wedded to its traditional processes of grievances and disciplinaries that it is reluctant to introduce what may be perceived as a massive cultural change? Answers on the traditional postcard please or by email through that new-fangled interweb thingy, if you must…


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Mediators with over 20 years’ experience of workplace mediating


Expert mediation training From a national certificate in mediation at work through to awareness raising and short courses


1010UK Mediation Journal | Issue 1 Sponsored by


Expert mediation training From a national certificate in mediation at work through to awareness raising and short courses


CMP RESOLU call in


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Mediators with over 20 years’ experience of workplace mediating


PROFESSIONAL MEDIATORS


Mediators with over 20 years’ experience of workplace mediating


EXPERT MEDIATION TRAINING From a national certificate in mediation at work through to awareness raising and short courses


CMP RESOLU


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Over 400 sector, n


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Advocating mediation in bus iness


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