Mediating when your employees fall out

Employees’ grievances are not always directly with the employer, but result from conflict between employees.

These can be due to professional rivalries or arise from allegations of bullying or harassment that you cannot substantiate. Sometimes one goes hand in hand with the other.

This can easily leave you in the crossfire as an employer. You have a statutory duty to protect your staff from harassment or bullying, which could land you in an employment tribunal if you do not.

And an even more costly outcome is that one or both of the employees, who could be valuable to your business, will leave.

Using employment mediation

Clear cases of bullying or harassment should be dealt with using disciplinary procedures, but in the ‘greyer’ areas described above, mediation can be a very useful tool.

It is best applied early before things get out of hand and ideally before the people involved leave employment if you would like to keep them on. This will also avoid tribunals.

A trained mediator will meet with the parties in separate rooms and listen in detail to each side of the story. They will also gain the two sides’ trust as an external, impartial observer.

If appropriate the two parties can then be brought together to reach a solution.

Getting to the truth

The cases we handle tend to involve some shuttle diplomacy, communicating each viewpoint and attempting to find a compromise that both would be willing to accept.

The reasons for the conflict are not always what they seem and a key skill in mediation is persuading people (with varying levels of force) to reveal and accept the truth.

So does mediation work? In some cases, yes – and it is certainly a route worth exploring when you consider the alternatives.

If you would like to explore employment mediation or discuss any aspect of employing people, please get in touch.

Here are the types of cases we handle:

  • Contracts of Employment
  • Employer Staff Handbooks
  • Redundancy Process
  • Breach of Contract
  • Breach of Restrictive Covenants
  • Tribunal Claims
  • Settlement Agreements
  • Consultancy Agreements

Sports and Football Law

  • Contracts of Employment
  • Service Agreements
  • Contractual Issues
  • Executive Departures

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