Is commercial employment mediation right for you?

Cost effective

Experiencing a problem in the workplace is worrying and unsettling. More often than not, a difficult work environment impacts mental health and physical wellbeing and can result in you being required to take sick leave. Ultimately a negative situation in the workplace can impact financial well being, as it could limit opportunities for promotion. Left unaddressed workplace problems can lead to significant  conflict arising and ultimately for the employee, the loss of their job and exposure to being on the job market with either  a negative or with no reference. Examples of workplace conflict are:

1. Change management - departmental changes and change of roles and responsibilities
2. Performance review, disagreement about performance standards and expectations
3. Promotion opportunities
4. Discrimination - particularly relating to time off for pregnancy or childcare.

Employment law is complex and fully understanding your rights as an employee can be difficult. Instructing an employment lawyer can be expensive. In the Employment Tribunal, even if you do win your case and receive an award your employer may not have to pay your legal fees. A mediator can help a team or colleagues talk through any differences and misunderstandings at an early stage, preventing escalating the matter to formal procedures such as grievance, disciplinary or performance management. An experienced employment mediator can help the parties accept and understand when it is time to facilitate and agree an amicable and supportive exit, if the working relationship is no longer a positive one.  The mediator can also provide guidance, training and coaching to line-managers and team leads to help them effectively  use mediation methodology within their teams and departments to ensure that  difficult conversations or change management are handled using best practice and recommended process. All of this saves costs because it prevents stress related  sickness absence , costly recruitment and retraining cycles and ultimately helps to avoid settlement payouts and associated  legal costs.
Mediation is less expensive than going through the courts

Time Effective

Most  of us can spend the majority of our waking hours in our place of employment and interacting with colleagues.  Ensuring that the relationships and experiences remain positive, supportive and collaborative is essential to long lasting employment. We cannot always control how others behave around us, and there will always be some economic factors influencing our employer’s decision making and behaviours. However, the sooner we can talk through any concerns, issues or specific challenges we are experiencing the sooner we will be able to move forwards and escape the unnecessary stress, anxiety and relationship breakdowns that are a consequence of employment disputes.

For employees - It is never too soon to ask someone to help mediate a difficult working relationship, even if it means asking an objective and fair manager or colleague to offer some support between you and the difficult party.  Mediators can also offer you advice and guidance on how to navigate internal procedures  and communicate worries or concerns in an effective manner.

For employers - a mediator can help facilitate informal discussions about performance, concerns, issues or misunderstandings before the employer is required to escalate matters to their formal procedures, which can often take up a great deal of time and cause stress and de-motivation amongst staff.  

Employment tribunal process takes many months, even years to resolve. Often by the time the case is heard all parties have long since moved on. By involving a mediator at early stages the benefits include:
- Maintaining the professional relationship
- Addressing key issues that require resolution and agreeing procedures for resolving those issues.
- Identifying when an exit package might be appropriate and ensuring that the exit is managed amicably and beneficially for employee and employer alike.
Mediation is quicker than going through the courts

Party shaped solution guided by experienced mediators

The key to resolving employment conflict is effective and practical communication. However, when differences of opinion arise, or the need to bring in change becomes inevitable, communication can easily breakdown if not well managed. A qualified employment mediator will focus on allowing the parties time to hear each other, understand eachother’s concerns and find alignment of interest, while also working to assist the parties with brainstorming positive resolution.

Noone will understand the requirements of the job and the workplace better than the person doing it and therefore the mediator will take time to listen to the parties to hear what each wants to achieve from the situation they have found themselves in.

While the employment tribunal may base their judgement or decision on what a reasonable employer or employee might have done in a given situation - the mediator will focus - and help the parties focus on what they can do to resolve the situation. Facilitating joint brainstorming reintroduces collaborative and creative thinking, which is always necessary in any working environment.

Private, confidential and legally binding

The Mediation process is always strictly private and confidential and all matters discussed by the parties will not be disclosed without the parties specific written permission. However, once agreement is reached, the mediator will help the parties formalise it and that will go on record with HR or senior management. In some cases, in the case of an agreed exit, ,the parties may decide to enter into a confidential settlement or compromise agreement. The mediator will assist them with the preparation of this so that the parties can take that document to their respective lawyers for finalisation.
Mediation is legally binding

Why Work With Fiona Young?

Fiona Young Mediator
With literally 100’s of employment mediations under her belt, having mediated in the Gibraltar Employment Tribunal, there simply isn’t an employment scenario that Fiona has not had experience of either as a lawyer or a mediator. Fiona’s exposure to the many stories that bring clients to her, enables her to understand clearly the complex emotions, concerns and worries that both the employer and employee have during an employment conflict.
With the many tools of a mediator available to her, and her extensive experience of employment statute and case law, Fiona works hard with the parties to find a path to resolution and amicable agreement. Saving the parties, time stress and cost of traditional court process - as well as aiming to keep the professional relationship intact where appropriate.

Fiona says:
“Time and time again I meet with burnt out employees and worried managers who feel on the brink of a catastrophic breakdown of an employment relationship. Stress related illness costs workplaces millions each year and stress related illness, can have a massive personal impact on the sufferer as well. I bring employee and employer together, or manager and team member, in an environment of exploring why a conflict has arisen, identifying what steps can be taken to rebuild it and then examining and learning key strategies for preventing future escalations, by tried and tested methods and processes. Those that embrace the process, do not only experience a marked improvement in the specific relationship being mediated, but also in their general professional interactions and working life..”

This is more than just a method of conflict resolution. It is training on how to successfully navigate a world where conflict, disagreement and problems are all around us all the time.

How Does it Work?


Contact Fiona to Talk about your needs

If you have a conflict you consider may be suited to mediation, drop us an email or click this link.

We will contact you and ask you some questions and listen to your story. There is no obligation to commit to mediation we will just hear your version of events and listen to the outcome you would like to achieve.


Engage the other parties

At your request we will contact the other party and ask them if they would like to participate. If they do we will also have a call with them and hear their side of the story. The mediator remains neutral throughout regardless of which party approaches first.If both parties agree to participate in the mediation process a contract and confidentiality agreement will be provided setting out terms, conditions and payment terms.


Meet with the other parties and your mediator

The mediator will spend some time talking to each party individually and will then when appropriate bring the parties together for a joint session. This will either be in person in a neutral location or using internet technology (zoom). During the joint session the mediator will encourage the parties to listen to each other and brainstorm ideas for resolution. As the parties begin to come to agreement the mediator will start to formulate a mediation agreement.


Agree to the mutually focussed outcome

When a formal agreement is reached the mediator will allow the parties some time to review it (if necessary they can seek legal advice at this stage). When the parties are happy with the agreement the mediator will draw up a final version and arrange for the parties to sign. This will be a legally binding agreement which the parties can show to the court if necessary.

The mediator will ensure that any payments that due to be made are timetabled - but the mediator cannot receive or hold monies for either party.If at any time after the mediation the parties enter into further disagreement they can revisit the issue with the mediator or attend further mediation sessions.

How long does the process take?

The idea of a mediation is to resolve matter promptly and encourage a pragmatic problem solving dynamic that relies on momentum and enthusiasm. Accordingly the mediator will aim to drive the matter forward as promptly as possible. In real terms most mediations take around 12 - 15 hours of mediation time to resolve.

What does it cost?

The Mediator charges £200 per hour. The mediator will encourage the parties to split the costs between them (but it is for the parties to decide who pays)  and will require advance payment in advance of joint mediation sessions.

What our clients thought...

“I was reading the email back to myself just now and I feel like you've taught me well …I was like... wow, great email …normally I'd be a lot more direct but your ways have rubbed off on me in the best of ways”
"Thanks for helping me . Had a positive meeting with colleague . She has agreed to take on someone to help.. I cannot thank you enough . Have gone from being very low to more upbeat"
"Just to let you know that we made an agreement of settlement of XXXXX. That is all happens because of u!"

Contact Fiona for a free, no-obligation chat

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