Interested in dealing with your employment tribunal case more quickly? Give us a call on 020 7036 9120 to find out if your case is suitable for mediation.
Mediation is a way of cutting through the difficulties of Employment Tribunal litigation. It also has many advantages over litigation. It is conducted in private on a confidential basis and is much less expensive than litigation. It can be carried out much more quickly than litigation. Mediation usually takes place over a day or less and takes only a few weeks to arrange. There is no need for disclosure of documents or to prepare witness statements and the process is much less stressful for the parties. Mediation can certainly accelerate dispute resolution if both parties are open to it.
What is mediation?
In some ways a mediation is like a court hearing. Both sides attend the mediation, both sides get a chance to state their case and the parties may be represented by a solicitor or a barrister. In addition, like a judge, the mediator is in charge of the procedure on the day and is independent.
However, a mediator does not make a decision about whether the law has been broken. Unlike a Judge at a Tribunal hearing, a mediator simply works with the parties to see if a solution can be found to resolve their dispute. During the mediation the mediator will take turns speaking to you and your opponent separately to try and understand both sides and ultimately try to find a solution. If the mediation is successful, the solution the parties have agreed on is set out in a mediation agreement which is enforceable as a contract between them.
Private Mediation or Judicial Mediation?
A professional mediator operates outside the judicial system and will generally do nothing else but conduct mediations. The parties will have to pay a private mediator’s fees. In practice, the employer pays the fees in many employment cases.
As well as private mediation, there is also the option of mediation by an Employment Judge. During Employment Tribunal litigation, you and your opponent will be asked whether you are interested in judicial mediation. There is no requirement for you to take part in the mediation or to provide an explanation to the Tribunal if you are not open to judicial mediation.
If both parties confirm that they are interested, and the Judge is of a view that the case is suitable, then a mediation session can be listed relatively soon.
If you follow this procedure, an Employment Judge with experience of mediation will act as the mediator. There is no fee for this service.
How can we help
Mediation can be demanding. Its outcome will generally depend on the quality of the mediator and the representatives of the parties. If the parties cannot reach agreement then the mediation will fail.
The timing of the mediation is also important as not all cases are ready to be mediated. Both sides need to be committed to the mediation if it is to work. Often, it takes some time before both parties can see that mediation is preferable to a judicial hearing.
We have many years of experience of acting for parties in high value employment mediations in the City of London.
We have a good track record of success in achieving outcomes clients want.
We understand when mediation will work and when it won’t and how to make mediation successful.
We know which mediators are suitable for different types of case.
Because of our experience we believe we are well placed to advise parties considering how best to proceed with an employment case. Please do contact us if you would like us to advise whether your case is suitable for mediation.