The Mediation Bill which has been around since 2012 was signed into law on the 2nd October 2017 as the Mediation Act 2017. It came into force on the 1st January 2018 with the Act reinforcing current provisions which recognise mediation in the Irish High and Commercial Courts and also in the Rules of the Superior Courts. The purpose of the Act is to promote increased awareness and to use an alternative dispute resolution tool known as mediation.
Successful mediation can effectively cut the underlying costs related to unresolved conflict within your organisation, as well as averting the need for costly formal adversarial procedures. Mediation is an informal procedure, where an impartial mediator assists disputants to resolve their differences and reach solutions in which the mediator has no stake.
The nature of mediation is that it is a voluntary process but section 21 of the Act allows courts to have regard to the unreasonable failure of a party to refuse to consider or attend mediation when awarding costs.
Benefits of Mediation include :
- provides a less costly approach, not only in financial terms but in terms of team resource
- provides an early opportunity to deal with conflict
- the process is shorter than more formal grievance processes, ensuring a productive work environment is restored
- can improve communication and the rebuilding of working relationships
- can avoid valuable employees leaving and having to be replaced
Our experienced team of mediators, with long-standing expertise in dispute resolution and conflict management, will facilitate the restoration of respectful and productive working relationships. For more information on resolving workplace disputes contact Patrick Foley.