The major advantages of mediation are:
- It gets to the heart of the problem. It allows the real issues to be explored into a non- threatening environment where each party feels empowered.
- It is flexible. It allows a wide range of options to be explored, thus increasing the possibility that the final outcome is one that is satisfactory to both parties.
- It focuses on the interests of all parties. By focusing on the substantive interests, the procedural interests and the psychological interests of both parties, mediation is able to resolve disputes in a manner that enhances the likelihood of the parties being able to maintain a productive ongoing working relationship.
- It has a high success rate. When the parties to a dispute reach a mutually satisfactory agreement they are more likely to abide by the terms of that agreement than one that has been forced upon them by a court or tribunal.
- It is cost effective. The parties involved are not involved in adversarial legal battles with their associated time delays and high costs.
The workplace mediation services provided by Austrace Investigations Pty Limited typically involve the following basic steps:-
- An organisation invites Austrace to mediate a dispute, briefly outlines the nature of that dispute and provides the names of the parties who have the authority to engage in mediation.
- Austrace provides these details to one of our qualified mediators who contacts the parties and arranges to meet with them individually for initial private discussions.
- Arrangements are made to hold the mediation conference at a mutually satisfactory time and place.
- The parties to the proposed mediation are asked to sign an “Agreement to Mediate” which signifies that they will engage in mediation willingly and in good faith.
- The parties are free to seek legal or other advice prior to the mediation.
- At the agreed time and place the parties meet for mediation. This carefully structured mediation process involves an open sharing of information and a detailed exploration of options for resolving the issues. It will include some private discussions between the mediator and each party. The focus of the mediation process is on facilitating a resolution that is in the best interest of both parties.
- When the parties have agreed on a solution, the details are written into a “Mediation Agreement” that is signed by both parties. Unless both parties agree otherwise, the terms of the agreement are strictly confidential.
- The Austrace mediator will report to the organisation that engaged them, indicating when the mediation took place and that an agreement was reached.
The timeframe for workplace dispute resolution through mediation will vary according to the circumstances that led to the dispute. Typically it may take one or two weeks for the preliminary discussions and organisational matters, and a full day for the mediation meeting. In some circumstances it may be necessary to adjourn the meeting and reconvene for the final discussions.
Austrace charges for workplace mediation services at an hourly rate. We are prepared to offer a reduced rate for a trial period of six months for organisations who have not previously used mediation as a means of workplace dispute resolution. We are happy to meet with you for confidential discussions about these arrangements.