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Growth of Workplace Mediation

Growth of Workplace Mediation

Is the use of workplace mediation growing in the UK?

 

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Well I mean the thing is, you’re putting it into a context as well Aled. I think in the U.K. I think there’s a lot of litigation used when you compare it with other countries around the world and other countries in Europe. We litigate a lot in the U.K.

 

So I think there are still quite a small proportion of cases that do actually go through mediation. I think it could be far greater. Other countries around Europe have differential rates of using mediation. France, for example, is a very low take-up in my experience.

 

Some other countries it’s catching on quite quickly, with the new directive, people are having to wake up obviously and think, okay, cross-border disputes, availability of ADR, etc. But I think we do still litigate a lot in the U.K., even though there has been that quite modest growth.

 

I think in workplace, there’s an increase in growth. I think there was a CIPD survey recently and around about three-quarters of people said that they had, at some point, used mediation because of managers. That’s either internal or external and that’s ‘at some point’. So it might just be once ever, or it could be more of a regular basis.

 

But certainly there’s a confidence issue, I know we’re going to go on to talk about regulation and stuff and credibility from that point of view, but I think there is a reputational element. The people with workplace mediation, they will reuse the same people, the same mediators again and again and again because you’ve got over that difficult trust barrier. I think a lot of it is about trust.

 

It’s about knowing that the mediator is going to do a good job, knowing the whole thing will be managed and facilitated and the boundaries will be held very tightly. So I think repeat business is very high with workplace mediation and that’s seen a nice, consistent growth over the years.

About the mediator

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Mike began his career researching the use of new technology in the workplace. At British Telecom’s research labs he worked on using voice control to work computers, and co-authored a book on the subject. He became interested in the use of computer speech technology for people with disabilities, especially looking at using technology to help speech-impaired people to communicate better. Communication then became something of a theme for Mike, wh... View Mediator