Mediation can be a highly effective way to solve employment relationship problems and personal grievances. It’s unlikely that both parties are going to be ecstatic about the outcomes of mediation, however the aim is to achieve a settlement that both parties can live with. Properly utilised, it can mean real savings in time and legal fees, and helps avoid the stresses and disadvantages involved in escalating the dispute through to the ERA. Further, whereas Authority and Court cases tend towards a “winner takes all” type of outcome, mediation generally allows both parties to come away with upsides if a settlement can be reached, and it allows for more flexible and creative resolutions.

Employment Mediation Services

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is making changes to its Employment Mediation Services to ensure they’re organised and resourced to:

Whats Mediation About

When an employment dispute or personal grievance arises it can be very stressful for everyone involved. With work being a big part of most people’s lives, it’s understandable that when there’s an employment relationship problem in the workplace, it is important that they are dealt with efficiently, respectfully, and in a way that creates the best possible chance that parties will be able to move on. It’s unlikely that both parties are going to be ecstatic about the outcomes of a mediation, however the aim is to achieve a settlement that both parties can live with.

Court Sets Bar High Waiver Mediation Confidentiality

The first ground for her application was that, being a criminal offence, the alleged blackmail could not form part of the “purposes of mediation” referred to in section 148 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 and therefore fell outside the statutory confidentiality granted by that section. As an alternative, she asserted that the alleged blackmail fell within the exception considered, but not determined, by the Court of Appeal in Just Hotel Ltd v Jesudhass (2008) 8 NZELC 99,137. The Court there had opened the possibility of “evidence of serious criminal conduct” during a mediation being admissible, as a public policy exception.

Mediation: Let’s talk about relief.

There is a point at the end of most mediation sessions, usually after documents have been signed and water glasses and whiteboard markers are being cleared away, where one of the parties turns to someone, maybe the mediator or maybe one of their own support people, and says, “I’m so relieved.”

Why is it easier to get money than an apology in mediation?

When it comes to mediation ‘sorry’ really is the hardest word. But why? And how can we change that? After years of mediating, I feel confident saying that it is easier to get money than an apology. And it’s something I’ve spent quite a bit of time pondering.

Benefits Mediation

The EMA has released its annual analysis of personal grievance cases heard at the Employment Relations Authority, and again it was a sorry story for employers with employees’ winning 72% of cases.

Unwise Breach Confidentiality Provision

An ex-employee entered into an agreement to settle his personal grievance at mediation. The agreement provided, “These terms of settlement and all matters discussed at mediation shall remain confidential to the parties”. The employee’s workmates (the employee was employed by a new employer) knew he had been to mediation. When the employee returned to work he was alleged to have said, “woohoo, I won my case”, and in response to a question about how much money he had got he said, “compared to the money I’m making here, I’ve got enough to last me till Easter”.

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