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Mediation – For Employers/ Employees

Mediation is an internationally recognised process whereby a neutral and impartial person facilitates the parties in a dispute to explore their areas of dispute and where possible assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement or settlement.

The mediator is not there to judge, he won’t say that one person is right and the other wrong, nor is there to tell those involved in the mediation what they should do. The mediator is simply in charge of the process seeking to resolve the problem but he will not influence the outcome. The Mediator works to defuse hostile attitudes, remedy miscommunications and to soften or eliminate extreme negotiating positions.

Here at Employment Matters we can help you by empowering each party to negotiate their own agreement on a clear and informal basis, should each party wish to do so.

We currently offer the following mediation services;

  • Employment/Workplace conflict resolution;
  • Family mediation services;
  • Commercial mediation;

Mediation distinguishes itself from other approaches to conflict resolution such as litigation in a number of ways;

  1. Mediation is informal, flexible, voluntary, morally binding but has no legal status andmost importantly it is confidential. Mediation is the path to follow if you want a speedy and less expensive way to solve any disagreements.
  2. According to the Labour Relations Commission, the mediation process improves communication, narrows outstanding issues, defuses emotions and defines area of agreement, leading to successful resolutions in 80% of cases.

Mediation and Conflict Management in the Workplace

The current economic climate presents businesses with difficulties they have not faced for many years, if ever.

There is undoubtedly increasing potential for differences to arise with colleagues at work and for business, professional and personal relationships to be placed under greater strain.

Breakdown in communication and trust can all too easily lead to fear, stress and conflict.

The time, cost and anxiety associated with any form of conflict in the workplace can be significant. People need to be able to work effectively together. Superficial fixes are not necessarily the way forward. In fact often, workplace conflict is simply ignored or swept under the carpet.

The cost of unresolved conflict in the workplace is massive.

Relationship breakdown in the workplace will not only impact directly on the parties involved but can often impinge on other staff, on customers and on productivity. This can lead to tangible losses such as absences due to stress but also to morale issues as well as reduced productivity and eventually deteriorating service to the end user, the customer. On occasion we have even seen such conflict lead to violence and sabotage.

There is therefore significant benefit in equipping a business to properly respond to conflict and in preparing the leaders and managers in any business with the necessary tools and skills to manage, defuse and resolve conflict as early as possible.

Employment Matters helps you to achieve this.

We will assist your business in dealing with employment related legal issues and help protect your key assets, such as your company’s reputation and good name.

Over the past number of years we have built up experience on both sides of the employment relationship acting for companies and individual employees in employment disputes and have seen first hand the damage conflict can do in an organization. We believe that this unparalleled experience in helping people to deal with difficult situations at work, whether involving individuals, teams, departments or boards, at managerial, senior and executive levels is an invaluable asset and the model we have created to deal with these types of issues will have a significant impact on the handling of conflict.

Clients:

Employment Matters has worked with small and medium sized businesses, not for profit organisations and partnerships and firms in many professions, as well as individual employees.

What we do:

We provide companies and individuals with legal advice on dealing with conflict including;

  • Advising and representing clients in respect of internal employment law matters;
  • Advising and representing clients in respect of contentious employment law matters before the Courts, including the Labour Court, the Employment Appeals Tribunal, the Equality Authority and the Rights Commissioners Service;
  • Advising clients in respect of matters concerning recruitment and contracts of employment;
  • Advising and representing clients in respect of termination of contracts, unfair and constructive dismissal;
  • Advising clients on matters concerning disciplinary and grievance procedures.
  • Advising and representing clients in respect of equality and discrimination claims;
  • Advising and representing clients in respect of trade disputes;
  • Advising clients in respect of matters arising as a result of the transfer or merger of a business;
  • Advising and negotiating for clients in respect of severance agreements;
  • Representing clients in respect of employment litigation to include injunctions and employment disputes.

We also provide mediation services where;

  • Employment relationships and trust have broken down;
  • Communication and dialogue is necessary but ineffective;
  • There are significant emotional and personal issues;
  • There is an unresolved log-jam;
  • There are or have been allegations or other serious concerns in the workplace and;
  • There are complex and multi-layered issues with wider or competing interests.

In this area, our work includes all areas of workplace conflict including difficulties within teams, tension at senior management level, employee/employer disputes, board level dissatisfaction, breakdown between business owners or directors, dissatisfaction with customer relations and difficulties in partnership working at the highest executive levels.

Typical areas where we work are in grievances or pre-grievance situations and which involve;

  • Bullying claims;
  • Harassment claims;
  • Victimisation claims;
  • Contract disputes;
  • Discrimination claims.

Mediation and Facilitation:

Our mediation and facilitation services are offered and conducted with the highest level of independence,confidentiality and discretion, enabling issues to be explored in private and options for resolution to be identified and developed with assurance.

We emphasise creativity and flexibility. The mediation process is devised to meet the needs of any particular situation with due consideration given to appropriate duration, venue, timing and participation.

Any intervention is completely without prejudice and totally confidential allowing parties to enter the process without risk and to explore possibilities for resolution without obligation or either losing face or their legal right to legal redress.

Fees:

We operate a flexible approach to fees, based on the value we seek to add and on the circumstances of each individual situation. We will always be willing to discuss this openly. Our aim is to make sure that we can provide you with an excellent service.

Testimonials:

“Employment Matters deservedly have an outstanding reputation for offering the highest standard of employment law guidance. They are friendly and approachable and are always on hand to offer advice. When setting up my new business, they were on hand to provide clear and effective advice on all matters relating to employment.”

Tony Browne, 3 Mobile, Waterford

“I have dealt with Employment Matters since they began in 2009 during which they have provided me with excellent support in all areas of employment law.  They are always there to provide quick and clear advice.  I cannot recommend Employment Matters highly enough!”

Cathy Cronin, Pure Bliss, Waterford

“I recently encountered a really difficult issue with a potential hire who had alleged discrimination, Sean and Employment Matters looked after the management of the claim on my behalf and successfully defended the claim in the Equality Tribunal and subsequently the Labour Court. They also advised on effective procedures to prevent any subsequent issues arising.”

Anonymous, Painting Contractor, Waterford

“Employment Matters helped us with a significant restructuring of our large pub chain and without them I doubt if these matters could progressed so smoothly. They managed a large redundancy situation, re-framed contracts and implemented new staff procedures and documentation all without any fuss.”

Anonymous, Publican, Dublin

“Mediation works and every company large or small should include mediation as part of the conflict management & grievance procedure. Sean has excellent experience in this area and I have no hesitation in recommending him.”

Fergal Hartley, Hartley People