Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

New pilot scheme to resolve workplace disputes

The Employment Reforms Minister Edward Davey has announced the introduction of a new pilot scheme, set to teach small business in Cambridge and Manchester how to resolve workplace disputes.

The regional mediation networks will provide training to employees from a group of 24 SMEs in the pilot areas, to help SMEs develop an informal method of dispute resolution. This network of trained mediators will then be able to provide mediation to other organisations in their area.

Edward Davey believes that employment tribunals should be a last resort for businesses when resolving workplace disputes. He commented: “Mediation offers an informal method of dispute resolution and can be used at the point when problems first arise in the workplace.

“For both employers and employees it can mean avoiding the need for formal discipline and grievance procedures, and it can also mean avoiding the time-consuming, complex and often stressful employment tribunal process.”

It is hoped that the pilot will help employers and employees to help themselves, creating a more constructive and knowledgeable workforce.

“In particular our consultations showed SMEs are often not aware of the benefits that mediation can bring for both parties.” He continued.

“This pilot will directly target this group, help to raise awareness of the benefits and reduce the burden on the tribunal system.”

The two regional pilots were created in response to the Government’s Resolving Workplaces disputes consultation. It is due to run for 12 months, and if successful could be introduced into other areas of England, Scotland and Wales.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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